Cheer time for Modi, Siddu supporters

It was his second visit to Tumakuru district in Karnataka. This time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to woo the audience by beginning his speech in Kannada.

Having memorised the lines “Nanna Preethiya Bandhu Bhaginiyare, nimagella nanna namaskara,” (dear brothers and sisters, my salutations to you), Modi began his speech amid cheers and whistles from the audience at the Sunday’s inauguration of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) new helicopter manufacturing facility. Modi also concluded his speech saying “Namaskaragalu.”

It appeared to be a ground of competition for supporters of prime minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Siddaramiah. Just as Siddaramiah took the mike to deliver his speech, a group of people in the audience began cheering for him. Trying to overpower this was the ‘ Modi.. Modi..” cheers from another section.

All along the stretch to the venue in Biderahalla Kaval, each of the pillars on the road dividers had banners of the BJP and Congress put up alternatively.

Lakhs of people had gathered to witness the foundation laying stone ceremony. While a few locals were there to get a glimpse of Modi, a few others were caught unaware of what the event was. However, they confessed that they were at the venue to witness the air show that followed the ceremony.

Scores of people, however, left the venue even the air show had not begun. Reason: They were asked to wait in the afternoon sun for half an hour for the show to begin.

Meanwhile, Siddaramiah’s announcement to allocate an additional four acres around the venue was a cause for concern among the locals. “They have promised jobs. We do not know whether the assurance will translate into reality. We are hopeful that they do not take our land away for this facility,” said Bhagyamma, one of the visitors.

Not so ‘Swachh’
It was just minutes after he stepped down from the stage, the audience began moving out. However, it appeared as if the ‘ Swachh Bharat’ concept had failed to reach out to them. The venue had plastic drinking water cups, paper sun visors scattered all over. Several items including newspapers, water bottles and hundreds of hair combs that the police had confiscated from the visitors were left lying all over the place post the event.

Even as a good number of temporary toilet facilities were arranged at the venue, people chose to attend the nature’s call out in the open just outside the premises.

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