Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah arrived on a motorbike to the venue of a rally in Haryana’s Jind district on Thursday. He was followed by thousands of other BJP workers and supporters, all on bikes, NDTV reported.

Shah is kicking off his party’s campaign for elections in Haryana next year with Thursday’s “Yuva Hunkar” rally. A day earlier, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rode a motorcycle to the Pandu Pindara village, to check on the preparations, The Times of India reported.

The BJP’s state unit made it mandatory for all ministers and MLAs to arrive at the rally on bikes, The Indian Express reported. The Haryana BJP had decided 1,111 motorcycles from 90 Assembly constituencies in the state would start for the venue a day before the rally.

“Haryana is a land of warriors, youth, farmers and martyrs,” Shah said, addressing the rally, Firstpost reported. The farmers of Haryana “made the green revolution possible”, he said.

Shah said the Narendra Modi’s BJP government at the Centre and Khattar’s government in the state had ensured an end to corruption. “For the first time after independence, the village, farmers and the poor feel this government is my government,” Shah said.

He said the Modi government had fulfilled its promise of bringing in the One Rank, One Pension scheme.

The Haryana Police and paramilitary forces have stationed hundreds of personnel in Jind for Shah’s rally in view of the Indian National Lok Dal’s plan to disrupt the rally and to release black balloons into the sky, IANS reported.

Hisar range Inspector General of Police Sanjay Singh has appealed against releasing black balloons into the sky as it may cause problems for Shah’s chopper to land. He also warned of strict action against those who attempt to take the law into their own hands.

Raj Kumar Saini, the BJP MP from Kurukshetra, has said that he will not attend the rally, and would announce the formation of a new political outfit soon. Haryana Aam Aadmi Party chief Naveen Jaihind has said that he would present pakodas to Shah over the state government’s failure to generate jobs over the last three years.

The Congress has also opposed the rally. However, Khattar told media persons in Rohtak on Wednesday that everyone had the right to express themselves in a democracy and that opposing a political outfit’s public event was wrong.

The All-India Jat Andolan Sangharsh Samiti had earlier threatened to disrupt the rally too, but its outfit president Yashpal Malik called off the protest after a meeting with Khattar. The state government also agreed to revoke all criminal cases against members of the Jat community.

On February 9, the National Green Tribunal had asked the Centre and the Haryana government to reply to a plea that sought to reduce the number of motorbikes at Shah’s rally on the basis that they would cause air pollution.