BHUBANESWAR: Thousands of people descended on the streets of the Capital city on Tuesday evening as Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a roadshow, his first in Odisha for 2019 polls.
Modi was given a rousing welcome by thousands of BJP supporters sporting saffron T-shirts and Modi masks after he arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here from Chhattisgarh. He was received by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP candidate from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat Aparajita Sarangi and other State leaders.
As his cavalcade rolled on, Modi emerged out of his bullet-proof SUV’s sunroof to a thunderous response from the crowd which was waiting enthusiastically to have a glimpse of the PM. Passing through Ganga Nagar, people standing on both sides of the road showered flower petals on Modi.
Enthusiasm among Modi supporters was palpable as the streets reverberated with ‘Modi Modi’ chants from the crowd. The PM responded smilingly and waved back at them. He also bowed his head in front of a Lord Hanuman temple located along the route. The road show also covered OUAT, Soubhagya Nagar, Jagamara and Khandagiri.
The saffron party had made elaborate arrangements to greet its leader. From DJ music to folk dance, BJP had put in place all necessary arrangements to give Modi a grand reception.
Hemant Das, a resident of Salepur, said he came to Bhubaneswar to attend Modi’s public meeting. “Hundreds of people have come from Salepur to attend the Prime Minister’s event. We support him as his decisions are not influenced by others,” he said.
Manorama Nath, a woman in her sixties who was waiting near Siripur square from 3.30 pm to see the PM, said, “I support him (Modi) as I like his style of working and bold decisions.”
At Siripur square, the cops faced a tough time to manage the crowd as a large number of locals and BJP supporters had gathered at the spot. The traffic came to a standstill from airport to Baramunda ground, the meeting venue of Modi, as all major junctions were flooded by BJP supporters. Commissionerate Police had beefed up security ahead of the PM’s visit.
About 60 platoons of police force, 20 senior cops and 125 police officers were deployed to maintain law and order situation.
The road show of the PM ended at Baramunda ground where he attended BJP’s ‘Vijay Sankalp Samavesh’ to seek support for his party in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha.
Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency and the seven Assembly segments under it will go to polls in the third phase on April 23.