KHARIAN/LALAMUSA/ GUJRANWALA - Tehreek Minhajul Quran (TMQ) Chief Tahirul Qadri on Monday claimed that more than one million people are participating in the long march on Monday.

Addressing the media in Kharian, he said that the long march would eliminate poverty, strengthen the nation and ensure transparency in the upcoming elections.

He maintained that same corrupt leaders will be elected through elections if reforms were not carried out. Earlier, hundreds of Tehreek Minhajul Quran (TMQ) activists, riding on motorcycles, cars, busses and trucks, started the long march from Lahore on Sunday afternoon and made first break journey at Diwana Mandi on early Monday morning.

The participants reached Shahdara at 7:00pm while they reached Muridke at 9:00pm where hundreds of people welcomed them. Dozens of vehicles joined the march on arrival at Kamoke.

The vehicles in the long march reached Gujrat at 12:00 midnight where they were warmly welcomed.

In Lalamusa, thousands of people including women, the youth, members of civil society and workers of local TMQ accorded a rousing reception to Dr Tahirul Qadri led long-marchers when the caravan reached here at Lalamusa after staying at Dewna Mandi, Gujrat this morning, on route to its final destination Islamabad.

Rural people from adjoining areas, local business community ,civil society members, mostly belonging to middle and lower-middle class and laymen started pouring in at GT Road to welcome the marchers and Dr Tahirul Qadri and have a glimpse of the leader.

The biggest gathering of people stood on road for at least four hours, waiting for the caravan. As the long march participants reached the place, they welcomed them with drum beats, beside sounds of crackers to express their joy and showered rose petals over the caravan which passed through GT road amid strict security measures provided by Punjab police. Dr Tahirul Qadri did not address the people on the occasion. The local administration deployed heavy contingents of police to avert any unpleasant incident. Cellphone service remained suspended causing severe hardships for the public.

Earlier, the participants of the long march passed from Gujranwala at about 2am before dawn without any stopover.

More than 500 Minhajul Quran members joined the long march in Gujranwala and scores of people from Hafizabad, Sargodha, Sialkot and surrounding suburbs welcomed the participants on GT Road. As soon as participants of the long march entered Gujranwala, cellphones services were suspended. Besides tankers carrying Petrol and Diesel - Dry fruits, Chapatis, Rice, Vegetables, Drinking water, 12,000 Tents and other daily use-items were loaded in trucks were along the long march.

Cranes also accompanied the long march to deal with hurdles. On the other hand, the traffic police and wardens failed to fulfil their duties and couldn't control the traffic accordingly. More than 500 volunteers of Minhajul Quran dealt with it and helped trucks, buses and other vehicles passed through Gujranwala without disturbing the locals.

On the route of the long march, the police deployed 2,694 police personnel consisted of 25 Gazetted officers, 30 inspectors, 209 sub inspectors and ASIs, 1,720 constables, 10 lady constables, 50 Elite force and 650 volunteers 'Razakars'. Rescue 1122 and hospitals administrations were alter to deal with any emergency. According to local Minhajul Quran leaders, 1,000 pigeons were set free upon arrival of Tahirul Qadri and tonnes of rose petals were showered over the participants in Gujranwala.