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The Manipal Journal is a news website based out of Manipal. Started by a dedicated team of journalism students as a blog in 2007, TMJ, as it is fondly referred to, has reported stories from Manipal for over 9 years, in the right balance and with good intentions.
Chowkidar Cyclothon to mobilise support for BJP – The Manipal Journal
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Chowkidar Cyclothon to mobilise support for BJP

UDUPI: The support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resonated in the air, this time through cycle bells, as hundreds of supporters took part in the Chowkidar Cyclathon organised by BJP Yuva Morcha on Friday, April 12. The rally was earlier intended to start from Malpe and end in Kunjibettu, but as per the permission given by the Election Commission, it had to end in Diana Circle, Udupi.

The cyclothon started from Bannanje after Raghupathi Bhat, a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Udupi, inaugurated the event and instructed the cyclists about the disciplinary conduct. Present during this was prominent Hindi actress Sneha Singh from Rajasthan and ultra-marathon athlete Sameer Singh from Madhya Pradesh, both who are running across the country in support of Narendra Modi. The marathon started from India Gate in New Delhi, and they aim to run across 50 cities in 50 days by May. The motive behind the marathon is to campaign in support of Narendra Modi.

 

Participants cycle along the pathway. || Picture Courtesy: Sanath Balkur

 

The Manipal Journal talked to Sneha Singh and Sameer Singh regarding their experiences and viewpoints. Both of them expressed immense joy about their experience in Udupi and said they were mesmerised by the people of Udupi and their support. Sameer Singh informed that the primary inspiration that led them to campaign for Modi was his humble background. “We have a lot more poor people in the country than rich people, and a lot more uneducated people than educated people and graduates, and if a chaiwala (tea seller) becomes the Prime Minister of the country of 1.4 billion people, there is nothing more inspirational than that,” he expressed.

When asked if a person should look at a candidate’s humble background and vote for him based on that rather than his political ideology and intentions, he agreed after repeated clarification that a person should vote for an inspirational candidate. “Modi has no family to support, he is of the country and the country is his, therefore he is ours too,” he added.

Speaking during the event, Sneha Singh reiterated the Prime Minister’s efforts towards sanitation, women empowerment, and strengthening the defence sector. “Strategic advances like the surgical strike cannot be made by parties that indulge in dynasty politics,” she commented. In her speech, she also talked about “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” (with everyone and everyone’s development).

When asked about her views about prominent BJP leaders opposing the revoke of section 377 and Indian Government voting against equal spousal benefits for same-sex partners in the United Nation, she suggested, “It isn’t necessary to endorse all of the western cultural norms.” Regarding the rights of the LGBTQ community, she said, “India as a country has a majority of Hindus, and it is natural for governments to try and protect the cultural norms of the country. This is against our culture.”

She further went on to assure that there was an improvement in the situation. “India is a free country but if we support this ideology, how will our population grow?” she questioned. “We should support Modi in every move. Everything cannot be accomplished in five years; if Modi gets five more years, we will see India as a developed nation,” she explained. Sneha earlier stressed on Modi’s uniqueness, and when asked about Modi being the only Prime Minister since independence that has never held a press conference, she avoided commenting, saying that it was the Prime Minister’s call and she had no opinions on it. She had the same response when asked about Foreign Direct Investment in defence, but was still confident that the Prime Minister is a chowkidar.

Mein Bhi Chowkidar” and “Chowkidar Sher Hain” were the dominant slogans during the rally. Speaking about the meaning of the word chowkidar, MLA Raghupathi Bhat said to The Manipal Journal, “Chowkidar means a ‘person who guards the nation’ and that people through their duties and responsibilities should guard the nation.” When asked if the word was limited to a single party, he replied that it does not belong to a single party although all the supporters of Narendra Modi are chowkidars.

Yashpal Suvarna, General Secretary of BJP (Udupi) and Shreesha Nayak, President of BJP Yuva Morcha (Udupi), also participated in the first ever cyclothon election campaign.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: Sanath Balkur

Edited by: Karthika Venugopal

Sanath Balkur

sanath1999@gmail.com

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