Jaipur, July 21 : With its plush interiors and latest Bollywood flicks, the city's Raj Mandir is as popular as any other tourist place.
On Saturday, instead of running Sanjay Dutt's biopic "Sanju", it hosted a different performance: the Amit Shah Show. The BJP chief came in along with an array of state BJP leaders. At the centre of attention were the party's social media volunteers.
Adorned with party flags, the hall brimmed over with around 5,000 volunteers who came from different parts of Rajasthan for tips on fighting the election battle in the state later this year.
"Since the city's auditoriums cannot accommodate so many volunteers, we zeroed in Raj Mandir," said a state party leader.
Amit Shah called upon the 'cyber warriors' to ensure that public welfare schemes reach every person of the state. "The aim for all of us is Mission 180 (winning that many seats in the 200-member Assembly)", he said. Sharing his winning tips with them, he said that "fake claims" of the Opposition should be given a befitting reply on social media platforms.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia also reposed her trust in the social media warriors.
For local party leaders, it was nothing short of a thrill.
Bhawarlal Mali, chairman, municipal corporation, Jalore, said Shah has infused a new life in the party members. "The party chief has told us to stay united and win these elections," he said.
Mukesh Rajpurohit, an ABVP member from Jalore, found Shah's advice quite encouraging. "Shah told us to seek help from our cyber warriors to win the Assembly elections. We will try to work on it," he said.
Anjana Sharma, corporator and BJP vice-president-Nagore rural, said Shah's visit to Jaipur and Modi's address in Lok Sabha on Friday have motivated the BJP workers. "Today, instead of watching reel-time heroes, we saw the real hero in Shah," she said.
BJP sources said Raj Mandir was booked for a day. The IT department's workshop for state working committee started at 11 a.m. and the cinema hall turned into a political venue.
After the culmination of IT department's workshop, the social media volunteers meeting continued in this iconic cinema hall which was addressed by Amit Shah. Other prominent leaders seen were national vice-president and Rajasthan in charge Avinash Rai Khanna, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and other senior BJP leaders like V. Satish, Bhupendra Yadav, Chandrashekhar, Muralidhar Rao and Ramlal.
(Archana Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)