BJP urges President Pranab to revise date of Bihar visit

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New Delhi, Oct 7: BJP leaders on Monday urged President Pranab Mukherjee to revise the date of his visit to Patna Oct 26-27 as it clashes with a rally by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

"We have requested the president to reconsider the dates of his proposed visit," BJP legislator Nitin Navin and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi told the media.

Sushil Modi said the president's visit in Patna Oct 26 and to Ara in neighbouring Bhojpur district Oct 27 could disrupt Narendra Modi's meeting in Patna Oct 27.

The BJP leaders felt that the Bihar government could use the president's visit as an excuse to scuttle the Narendra Modi rally.

BJP leaders say Nitish Kumar has been putting one hurdle after the other to rain on Modi's scheduled parade in Gandhi Maidan. And this political turf war between BJP's prime ministerial candidate and his bete noire Bihar chief minister has dragged the President into the muck.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has invited President Pranab Mukherjee to the convocation ceremony of IIT, Patna and the unveiling of Jagjivan Ram's bust in his native village near Patna on October 26 and 27.

The presidential visit means security arrangements that may keep large parts of the city sanitised on both these days. Strict measures will also mean traffic diversions that may affect BJP supporters entering the city.

The Bihar government says the president's visit has nothing to do with Modi's rally and it was planned in advance. But the fact remains that Modi's rally dates were announced way back in June.

Earlier a BJP MLA, Nitin Naveen, has written a letter to the President requesting him to not come to Patna now.

"The people of Patna will be deprived of an opportunity to welcome you whole heartedly as they would be busy attending the Hunkar rally. People of Patna and Bihar have been preparing for the Hunkar rally for the past six months and are eagerly waiting to listen to Narendra Modi in whom they see a symbol of development," he has written.

JD(U) leaders, on the other hand, have demanded that the government scrap Narendra Modi's rally because it may create law and order problems in the state in general and in the city specifically because the President would be visiting Patna.

IANS

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