Police security heightened at the rally venue in the wake of Patna bomb blasts

Elaborate police security marked the rally addressed by the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at the Palace Grounds here on Sunday. The security arrangements were heightened in the wake of the bomb blasts witnessed at his Patna rally.

More than 5,000 policemen and other security personnel had the grounds under complete control. Visitors, including VIPs, and the media had to pass through several layers of security checks.

Senior police officers of the rank of Additional Director-General of Police made frequent visits to the media and VIP enclosures. Such was the level of security that even IPS officers were allowed inside the venue only after their passes were checked.

The police left nothing to chance even as they conducted a trial landing of a helicopter at the helipad built at the rally venue before Mr. Modi arrived.

The crowd had a tough time as water bottles, food and bags were not allowed inside the venue. However, the minor inconveniences were forgotten soon as Mr. Modi arrived and the crowd started cheering him.

Mr. Modi was the cynosure of all eyes at the rally as the crowd responded with loud cheers and thunderous applauses to every remark made by him. Whenever he took a pause during his near one-hour speech, the crowd chanted “Modi, Modi”.

Though the crowd started queuing up at the gates of the venue by 7.30 a.m., the rally began at 11 a.m. and Mr. Modi arrived only by noon.

Beginning his speech by greeting everyone in Kannada, he paid his respects to Bangalore founder Kempe Gowda, Kittur Rani Chennamma and saint-poets Basaveshwara and Kanakadasa.

He engaged the crowd with questions and tried to strike a conversation with it.

When he took his second break for a drink of water, he asked the audience if it felt that his speech was lengthy and whether he should end it. He, however, continued with his speech after the crowd egged him on.

In view of the rain on Saturday, there were fears of the rally getting washed away.

However, it only rained after the rally concluded.

The crowd was allowed to leave the venue after Mr. Modi’s helicopter took off.

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