Modi’s Kerala visit a grand success

via Pioneer News Service | Thiruvananthapuram published on January 29, 2007

Proving the perpetrators of paranoia wrong, Kerala welcomed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday when he reached here to take part in the Hindu Maha Mela organised by the RSS as part of the MS Golwalkar Birth Centenary celebrations.

Modi’s visit, which was projected by his political opponents as “intended to create fissures in the social fabric of Kerala”, turned out to be one of the most well-attended public programmes the State has ever witnessed. “The credit should go to the State Police and the Home Department for ensuring that the programme takes place as per plans,” said an ecstatic organiser half way through the rally.


 


 


Organisations like DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M), which heads the ruling LDF, had announced protests against Modi’s visit. But the LDF Government provided a tight security cover, more elaborate than that befitting the head of a State Government though Modi had not come here as Chief Minister.


 


Thousands who had thronged the Putharikanndam Maidan here where he spoke cheered wildly when he greeted them in Malayalam as “Dear sisters and brothers”. Every time Modi, who refused to go into the controversies raised by some quarters against his visit, referred to the developments achieved by Gujarat, the near-capacity crowd at the ground applauded and cheered.


 


The Government had provided “Z-Plus” category security for Modi’s visit in the context of protests by several Muslim outfits, including the NDF, and the Leftist DYFI. The organisers were overwhelmed by the diplomacy and generosity shown by the LDF Government.


 


A senior RSS leader, while talking to The Pioneer, acknowledged the political wisdom of Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who ignored the protests and ensured proper security cover for Modi. He said Balakrishnan, despite all the criticism by the DYFI, has “shown magnanimity in this aspect”.


 


The Home Department had deployed 3,000 police personnel specially for Modi’s visit. The police had taken special observation measures at various points in the city.


 


People arrived in large numbers from many parts of the district to listen to Modi, who from the airport drove straight to the venue accompanied by State BJP president PK Krishnadas. As usual, there was strict discipline enforced on the ground by the RSS and volunteers posted among the audiences ensured that the crowd behaved properly. There was thunderous applause when Modi described himself as a swayamsevak and that he was fortunate to have met Golwalkar and participated in meetings attended by him.


 


Modi began his speech referring to Kerala as a land rich in greenery, natural resources and symbols of cultural development, striking the right note with the audience. Participants at the programme said that the protest calls given by DYFI and NDF had resulted in enhanced people’s participation


 

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