Using PSU money to stage BJP political rallies

Vol 19, PW 10 (28 Jan 16) People & Policy

Narendra Modi and his BJP workers will almost certainly hijack the inauguration of the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer (BCPL) plant in Assam on February 5 and transform it into a party political rally.

GAIL and Oil India - both BCPL stakeholders - tell us Assam state elections are due in three months (April) and the BJP will do anything to win, including using state-owned oil company money to promote itself. No one in the party wants a repeat of its crippling election defeats in Delhi and Bihar.

Modi launched the Assam campaign himself on January 19 with a rally at Kokrajhar district and is expected at the BCPL inauguration next month. “Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal is from Assam and making statements about the BCPL project instead of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan,” points out a GAIL source.

He explains this is because the BJP will most likely pick Sonowal as its chief ministerial candidate for Assam following his appointment last month (December) as BJP state unit president. Sonowal helped the BJP win seven seats from Assam in the 2014 national elections and has also been made chairman of the Assam election management committee.

“This political rally will be paid for by BCPL,” adds a second GAIL source. “Like when GAIL had to pay for the BJP election rally in Patna in July last year (2015) pretending it was inaugurating the spurline to Barauni.

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