Modi to be in Lucknow this evening to join Dussehra celebrations

Modi to be in Lucknow this evening to join Dussehra celebrations

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering during a conference of start-up businesses in New Delhi


 

New Delhi/Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi would leave for Lucknow this evening to celebrate Vijay Dashmi with people of Uttar Pradesh, as a break from the past. Previous prime ministers have usually been participating in Dussehra celebrations in the national capital, but Mr Modi, known for his unconventional and novel way of reaching out to the people, never hesitates to make a break from the past when he desires. The move is being seen a move full of political symbolism for a state where the party is waging a do or die battle to end its 14-year-exile from power. Lucknow has been represented by only prime minister in the Lok Sabha, Atal Behari Vajpayee. It would be for the first time that any Prime Minister would be joining the people of Lucknow to celebrate Dussehra. The constituency is at present being represented by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. He has already called upon the people of the state to end the BJP’s political exile in the state. Mr Singh was chief minister in 2002 when the BJP was driven out of power by the SP, and successive elections in the state have either returned the BSP or the SP to the power. The entire city has been decked up and the streets from where the PM's cavalcade would pass, are being painted. Aishbagh Ramlila ground, where the Dusshera programme would be held, is decorated with 20 quintals of flowers. A 121-feet 'Ravan' is erected and would be set afire through laser by Mr Modi, in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma. The city has been converted into a fortress with the officials of Elite Special Protection Group (SPG) taking their position and monitoring the security of Aishbagh Ramlila ground and the roads, through which the PM's cavalcade would pass. Mr Modi is expected to reach Lucknow by 1810 hrs tomorrow and would reach the venue from Amausi airport by a chopper, which will land on the nearby Rastogi college campus. However, alternative road route from airport to Aishbagh has also been kept open, in view of any change in the plan. The PM will offer prayers to Lord Ram and Hanuman and address the gathering before setting Ravan's effigy afire, official sources said. The PM will return back to New Delhi at around 1915 hrs. In Lucknow, 45 LED big screens would be put at various crossings, so that people can watch the live coverage of the function. The Prime Minister’s speech at the function was expected to give impetus to the BJP's election campaign in UP, which is set to go to polls early next year. With his party upbeat over the surgical strike against terrorists launch pads across LoC, he indicated the atmospherics his visit intends to create by saying yesterday that ‘’this year’s Vijay Dashmi will be special.’’ His political opponents have already launched attacks on him saying his choice of celebrating Dussehra in Lucknow this time was ‘’politically motivated’’.


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