All eyes on Nitish Kumar at NDA’s Sunday rally in Ludhiana


Ludhiana : As the BJP-led NDA puts up its biggest political show of Punjab during this poll campaign with a rally in this industrial city Sunday, all eyes will be on whether Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar arrives to attend it.

Support TwoCircles

The election rally is being seen as a show of strength by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to show that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is intact in the run-up to Wednesday’s fifth and last phase of the 2009 general elections.

“Yes, Nitish-ji’s coming here is important for the NDA. It will send a clear message to those trying to break some allies of the NDA,” a BJP minister in the Punjab government told IANS.

Top BJP leaders, including its prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, party president Rajnath Singh, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states including Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and top leaders of NDA allies are expected to attend the rally.

The rally, being described as “historic” by BJP and alliance partner Akali Dal in Punjab, is expected to be attended by JD-U president Sharad Yadav, Indian National Lok Dal president and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh, Asom Gana Parishad president Chandra Mohan Patowary and Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi.

BJP-ruled state chief ministers Narendra Modi, B.S. Yeddyurappa (Karnataka), Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Prem Kumar Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh) and B.C. Khanduri (Uttarakhand) will also be at the rally.

BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi will also be here.

Other BJP leaders such as Jaswant Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Gopinath Munde will also be present.

The rally will be co-hosted by BJP’s alliance partner in the state, the Akali Dal.

The NDA rally will be in favour of Akali Dal candidate from here, G.S. Galib, who has been a Congressman for nearly five decades before shifting to the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab recently.

Nitish Kumar’s coming here could also influence scores of votes of migrants from Bihar who are settled in this city.