Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit to attend the BJP’s national executive meeting, which got underway at a hotel in the city earlier in the day.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Bharatiya Janata Party’s national vice president B.S. Yeddyurappa and state unit president Prahlad Joshi received Modi after he landed at the HAL airport.
As hundreds of BJP cadres and supporters waited in the hot sun outside the airport to greet the prime minister, Modi suddenly alighted from the car and walked up to them, waving and smiling at them.
“We are humbled by Modi’s gesture to get down from his car and greet us in person. He is our party’s true leader and connects well with the workers,” an elated party worker told IANS.
Amid tight security, Modi drove to Raj Bhavan in a convoy, which was escorted by a fleet of police and VIP vehicles that blocked vehicular traffic on the 8-km route.
After resting for some time, Modi will drive to the Lalit Ashok hotel, two km from Raj Bhavan, to address party members in the evening.
On Friday, Modi will participate in the inaugural meeting of the party’s national executive at the same venue and later address a public meeting at the National College grounds.
“Modi will also attend the second day’s executive meeting on Saturday and address party members in the afternoon before lunch and leave for Delhi later,” a party official told IANS.
Though the national executive meeting is the first after the BJP came to power at the Centre in May 2014, it is the fourth time the meet is being held here after the first in 1993, second 1999 and the third 2008, when the party was in power in the southern state for five years.
“Modi will also interact with the BJP’s members in parliament and state legislatures on the margins of the meet and collect feedback from them on the people’s perception of the 10-month-old NDA government at the Centre,” the official said.
Keeping in view Modi’s penchant for his pet project Swachch Bharat Abhiyan (or Clean India Mission), the cash-starved Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) swung into action and spruced up some of the thoroughfares, roads and footpaths Modi will pass through during his stay in the city till Saturday afternoon.
In view of the presence of senior party leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, party president Amit Shah, union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, M. Venkaiah Nadu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, security has been tightened in the city, especially around the venues where Modi will visit.