PM Narendra Modi’s Coimbatore Roadshow Amidst Security Concerns and High Stakes in Lok Sabha Elections

PM Narendra Modi’s Coimbatore Roadshow Amidst Security Concerns and High Stakes in Lok Sabha Elections

New Delhi, 18 March 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on a pivotal five-day tour of southern India ahead of the looming Lok Sabha elections, scheduled on April 19. Modi’s strategic focus on southern states includes a significant rally in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, where he plans to lead a massive road show on Monday. However, security assessments by the Special Protection Group (SPG) have necessitated a reduction in the planned route, shrinking it from 4 kilometres to 2.5 kilometres.

Initial resistance from local authorities citing security apprehensions, historical communal tensions in Coimbatore, and potential disruptions, especially for students, led to the rejection of permission for the roadshow. Nevertheless, the Madras High Court intervened and granted clearance on Friday, paving the way for Modi’s rally.

This will be the prime minister’s sixth visit to Tamil Nadu as he vigorously pursues his ambitious target of securing 400 seats for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming elections. Throughout his tours, Modi has launched scathing attacks on the Congress and the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), accusing them of involvement in various scandals while positioning himself as a champion of progress.

In compliance with the model code of conduct, the rally is scheduled to take place between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m., covering the stretch from Saibaba Colony to the DB Road intersection in RS Puram. In response to the Madras High Court’s order, rigorous security measures have been put in place across the city, particularly along the route of the roadshow, with increased surveillance and vehicle checks in other areas.

Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party’s relatively limited influence in Tamil Nadu, it holds a stronger foothold in Coimbatore. The region has witnessed sensitive law-and-order situations, notably the 1998 series of bomb blasts targeting senior BJP leader LK Advani, resulting in the loss of nearly sixty lives.

India Politics