KOCHI: The nearly three hour-long heavy downpour, which lashed the temple town, did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the multitude of BJP supporters, who thronged Puthiyakavu Temple ground on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Draped in the BJP party flag and donning saffron caps, the BJP loyalists, that also included children and the elderly screaming ‘bolo BJP ki Jai, Bolo Modi ki jai’, trooped into the venue of the PM’s speech. Even though Modi’s speech was scheduled to begin at 7.30 pm, the venue was filled to capacity by 5.30 pm itself. And the police personnel were under severe pressure as the latecomers tried to find space for themselves on the nearby road. With large flex boards of BJP leaders dotting the roads leading up to the venue, Puthiyakavu literally turned into an NDA fiefdom. “We are really thrilled to see our leader as a long wait has come to an end today(Wednesday). In fact, I waited in the heavy rain for more than three hours to see him at close quarters,” said Sobhana, who came all the way from Kottayam to see the PM. As Modi accompanied by the BJP brass entered the venue, the capacity crowd were literally over the moon, with the chants of Modi, Modi reverberating in the air. And the high-decibel chants drowned out the sound of the driving rain.
Barely minutes before the Prime Minister’s scheduled arrival, Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Prathap Rudy, who also addressed the gathering, urged the BJP enthusiasts to greet Modi in a novel manner. He asked them to turn on the flashlight on their mobile phones and wave it when the PM entered the stage. Modi arrived at the venue by 7.35 pm, much to the delight of the spectators. After addressing the dignitaries on the dais, Modi switched to Malayalam and said,”Daivathinte swantham naattile ente priyappetta sahodari sahodaran mare namaskaram.” Modi also expressed his appreciation for the manner in which he was ushered in by the crowd.”I am deeply touched by the manner in which you people have welcomed me by waving the flashlight,” he said.
Recently, the maximum number of trolls on the social media pertained to the translation mistakes made by ‘translators’ during the visit of VIPs to the state. And it was BJP former state chief V Muraleedharan’s turn on Wednesday to translate Modi’s speech. After mentioning the name of the leaders and the NDA candidates present on the stage, Modi began his speech by telling everyone that there was good news for Keralites. In his translation Muraleedharan, though, missed the initial part. And Muraleedharan, who was only too well aware of the blunders made by the translators, picked up the mike and moved towards Modi, indicating that he could not hear the PM’s speech properly. Modi, on his part, beamed at him saying “aayie aayie pass aayie”.
Steers Clear of Controversy
Even though he flayed the LDF and the UDF throughout his 45 minute-long speech, he studiously avoided making any controversial remarks. Interestingly, the PM did not make any mention about the letter written by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy asking Modi to withdraw his controversial remark comparing Kerala to Somalia. He also did not make any mention of the social media campaign against his Somalia parallelism.