The BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit found itself in a quandary on Thursday when it was forced to hurriedly dismantle a dais put up to welcome Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, minutes before he landed at the Meenambakkam old airport here to attend a ‘VVIP’ wedding reception.
Though Modi’s visit was billed as ‘private’ and kept a tight secret till Thursday morning when the city suddenly burst with a surfeit of party posters and banners hailing the saffron leader’s historic return to power in Gujarat last month, the BJP’s State unit’s bid to give him a “grand reception”, suddenly came a cropper.
The situation became visibly awkward for the BJP’s State unit, whose volunteers had managed to put up a neat square dais in the open, just outside the gates of the ‘prohibited area’ of the old Airport through which VVIPs can directly drive up to the tarmac. Adorning the dais was a banner juxtaposing images of Narendra Modi flashing the ‘V sign’ with Swami Vivekananda and the Parliament building in the backdrop, a symbolic message the BJP tried to convey.
Even as a fairly good crowd of BJP volunteers and partymen thronged to cheer Modi on arrival, some of them after some exchanges with the Police officers there, suddenly began to dismantle the dais. The reason, according to a senior BJP leader was, that though the dais put up for Modi was “very safe”, the Airport security still objected to it as a prior “fitness certificate” for the temporary structure had not been obtained from the Public Works Department (PWD).