KANNUR: With national president Amit Shah set to sound the bugle for the party’s ambitious plan to conquer the state, a feeling of euphoria prevails among the activists here in Kannur. Amit Shah will inaugurate Janaraksha Yathra, the 15-day statewide campaign by BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan at Payyannur on Tuesday.
As the yathra is slated to pass through the CPM bastions in politically volatile Kannur district, including Pinarayi, the home ground of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the district police are leaving no stone unturned to ensure peace. The arrival of Amit Shah and the excitement in the BJP camp are keeping the police on the toes as a small provocation can trigger political unrest in the district. The whole party machinery of the BJP is working overtime to make the launch of the yathra a great success, as they know the national media is closely following the event, in view of the presence of Shah, and the allegation of the CPM that the Saffron party was trying create trouble in the state.
Though the BJP had announced earlier that Union ministers will take part in the inaugural function of the yathra in Payyannur, only the participation of Alphons Kannanthanam was confirmed. Other prominent leaders to join the march include MPs Suresh Gopi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Richard Hay, Nalin Kumar Kateel from Karnataka, O Rajagopal MLA and senior leaders in Kerala, said P Sathya Prakash, district president of the party.
As the political focus of the state has been shifted to Payyannur, a strong bastion of the CPM, SP Shiva Vikram, in charge of the security arrangements in the district, has an arduous task at hand. ‘We are ready to manage the situation’, said Shiv Vikram. A large posse of police personnel, has been deployed in and around Payyannur town, Pilathara and places through which the march passes, to prevent any untoward incident. Road traffic will be affected between Payyannur and Pilathara and alternate arrangements have been made.
IG Mahipal Yadav will supervise the security arrangements. Around 7,000 police personnel have been deployed in Payyannur on Monday to ensure the safe conduct of the march.
Amit Shah will inaugurate the march at 10 am and later he will start his walk with Kummanam from Payyannur to Pilathara , at 3.15 pm. At Pilathara Amit Shah will address a meeting. Of the 41 km journey-on-foot in Kannur, Amit Shah will walk for 21 kms, BJP sources said.