Coming close on the heels of a massive rally he addressed in Tiruchy last month, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai on Friday, his first since his elevation as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, has fuelled feverish expectation among the party cadre and political observers.
Sources said Modi would land in Chennai at 3.20 pm. The State unit of the BJP, which surprised many in Tamil Nadu with its massive show of strength in Tiruchy, has pulled out all stops to give a rousing reception at the Chennai airport.
“We are expecting to take at least 2,000 persons to the airport to welcome him,” said a State leader and added that Modi was expected to speak a few words to the crowd that is likely to throng the airport.
The BJP leader will then move to Kamalalayam, the State headquarters of the party in T Nagar. There he is expected to deliver an hour-long pep talk to 150 office bearers of the State unit and outline the strategy for campaigning in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
After the meeting with party functionaries, Modi will head straight to the University of Madras auditorium where he is set to deliver the 11th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture.
Sources in the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Trust told Express that the topic of Modi’s lecture was titled ‘India and the World’. The event will also see BJP leader Arun Shourie talk about his book Self Deception: India-China Policy.
University sources said the police had provided three-tier security to the campus and visitors were being checked since Monday. The students are likely to get the afternoon off on Friday in view of the lecture.
A senior police officer said traffic would be regulated to provide a smooth path for Modi’s convoy. “We have not planned any specific diversion on any road. We will regulate traffic as and when needed,” said a senior officer. However, he conceded that the time and place of the lecture was indeed problematic. “The university is on the arterial beach road. The lecture will happen close to peak hours when government servants return home after work. It is bound to cause traffic issues. But we have pressed into service enough policemen to manage,” he said. After the talk, Modi will board the 9 pm flight back to New Delhi.