THRISSUR: One of the legends associated with the world famous Thekkinkad Maidan in Thrissur is that after the annual ‘Pooram’ celebrations, the hillock falls asleep until the next year.
However, the visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi enlivened the hillock once again, attracting a crowd that could aptly be referenced to the popular Thrissur Pooram fiesta. Swarming with a mammoth crowd of saffron-clad supporters singing and shouting in support of Modi, the infectious mood extended to every word that came out of the PM’s mouth. In what offered several lighter moments of laughter, some star-struck among the BJP supporters even resorted to climbing tall trees to catch a better view of their leader.
Though the official number of persons attended the function is yet to be known, the tens of thousands of supporters who had gathered at the venue often engaged in minor scuffles at the highly constricted entry points. The area had been scoured by personnel of the SPG who had taken control of the area since the night before. Around 2,000 officers headed by five SPs, 16 DySPs, 35 CIs and 165 SIs had been deployed to ensure security.
The Prime Minister arrived in Thrissur by helicopter and left by road, heading for Wellington Island in Kochi via Karukutty, Aluva and Paravoor. “Around two lakh people are expected to attend the public meeting,” said BJP functionaries. In a last minute change, the stage was shifted from its proposed location at the southern tower of the Vadakkumnathan Temple to Naikkanal. Traffic restrictions were imposed at several points in the district, in connection with the arrival of Narendra Modi.