Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first Lok Sabha election roadshow in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, canvassing support for the BJP‘s Ghaziabad candidate Atul Garg, who has been fielded in place of two-time MP and Union minister V K Singh. The prime minister was joined by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Singh and Garg in an open flower-bedecked vehicle as they acknowledged the enthusiastic supporters.

Holding the party symbol ‘lotus’, Modi waved at the cheering crowd who greeted the four leaders with the slogans of “Abki baar 400 paar’ (400-plus seats for NDA this time), ‘Har Har Modi‘ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The roadshow started from the Maliwad Chowk and culminated at the Chaudhary Mod, covering a distance of about one-and-a-half km.

The prime minister said he was overwhelmed by the affection he received during the roadshow.

The district administration made elaborate arrangements for the event including the deployment of around 5,000 police personnel and enforcing traffic diversions. The local markets were closed during the roadshow.

The BJP supporters had been waiting on the road since the afternoon, braving the harsh sun as drums and bands tried to keep them engaged. Women dressed in colourful attire, some of them wearing yellow saris and saffron pagdis, were seen dancing vigorously as the roadshow moved forward. “It was particularly gladdening to see Yuva Shakti and Nari Shakti take part in the roadshow in large numbers. This shows the unwavering faith people have in our governance track record,” Modi said in a post on X. “In the coming years, we want to do even more for Ghaziabad. Our focus will be on how to further improve quality of life, enhance facilities for healthcare, education, transportation and more. We want youngsters from Ghaziabad to shine in diverse areas and enrich India’s growth trajectory,” he said.

Excited onlookers also watched from their rooftops and showered flowers on the leaders. Those who had lined up on both sides of the road along the route jostled with each other to get a better glimpse of the leaders, throwing flowers and raising slogans.

“Ghaziabad has always supported @BJP4India. Our Party has also always returned the affection with record development. Over the last ten years, development works, especially those relating to urban infrastructure, connectivity and housing have enhanced ‘Ease of Living’ here,” Modi said on X.

Voting will be held in the second phase in Ghaziabad on April 26.

The BJP has fielded former Uttar Pradesh minister Atul Garg as its candidate this time replacing Union minister General (retired) V K Singh, who won the elections in 2014 and 2019.

Among other programmes in the state, the PM addressed a rally in Saharanpur earlier in the day in support of BJP candidates.

Before the start of the roadshow in Ghaziabad, BJP workers were seen distributing sweets among people.

Police commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra had issued an advisory urging the masses not to bring certain things.

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