Modi gets rousing welcome in Bangalore

Last Updated 23 September 2014, 15:23 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a two-day visit to Karnataka for the first time after assuming office, was Tuesday given a rousing welcome by thousands of people, including the BJP's state leaders and cadres, at the HAL airport.

Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Bangalore mayor S. Shantakumari were present as Modi arrived.

Soon after Modi emerged out of the special Indian Air Force aircraft, Vala and Siddaramaiah greeted him with garlands on the tarmac where a red carpet was rolled out.

The chief minister also draped Modi with a silk shawl and put the famous Mysore petha (headgear) on him in the presence of Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar and Minister of State for Civil Aviation G.M. Siddeshwara.

At a function held outside the military airport, the Bharatiya Janata Party's state unit leaders, including lawmakers Prahlad Joshi and B.S. Yeddyurappa and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, felicitated Modi with a huge garland made of cardamom, a silk shawl and crowned him with a king's headgear.

After addressing in Hindi a huge gathering of party cadres and supporters for about 30 minutes, Modi drove to Raj Bhavan for an overnight stay.

On Wednesday, Modi will visit the mission control centre at the Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (Istrac) of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to witness the insertion of the interplanetary spacecraft into the Martian orbit.

"As Modi is also in charge of the space department, he has expressed keen interest to witness the historic event when the spacecraft (Orbiter) enters the Martian orbit in its maiden attempt," a space official told IANS.

Though the orbit insertion exercise begins at 4.17 a.m., the prime minister will be at the mission control centre from 6.45 a.m. to watch the crucial operation when the spacecraft main engine will be fired at 7.17 a.m. to carry the Orbiter through the region to enter the Martian orbit by 7.53 a.m.," the official said.

As command signals to the spacecraft and signals from it to the mission control centre take 12.5 minutes each way, confirmation about its insertion into the orbit will be known by 8.15 a.m.

ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishanan and scientists of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will brief Modi about the operations.

Modi will also inaugurate Wednesday a mega integrated food park at Koravahalli near Tumkur, about 70 km from here, and address a gathering, which will include about 5,000 farmers and 10,000 BJP workers.

The prime minister will also visit the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur to seek the blessings of its 106-year-old pontiff Shivakumara Swamji and return to Bangalore Wednesday afternoon to fly back to New Delhi.

(Published 23 September 2014, 15:23 IST)

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