KL NEWS NETWORK
There were last minutes changes in the itinerary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day long visit to J&K. Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed had planned an elaborate engagement for Modi but the paucity of time had cancelled most of it, informed sources said.
Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed who visited the venue of the meeting Friday evening ordered doing away with the Prime Minister speaking to the audience from behind the bullet-proof shield. Initially there was some resistance at the security agency level but eventually it was agreed upon. This made Modi’s speech perhaps the first in last many tears when a visiting Prime Minister did not use the BP shield in the strife-ridden state.
But perhaps that was the only decision that Mufti ordered it was implemented. He had also asked the security establishment to create more space for the people as he expected the numbers. But the security authorities did not take it seriously. They thought that even ten thousand would be an honourable gathering but they were proved wrong and were red faced as there was not enough of space.
Mufti, insiders said had planned a different script for the function. Initially, it was suggested that PDPs broadcaster minister Basharat Bukhari will moderate the function and the speakers will include Ms Mehbooba Mufti, Dr Nirmal Singh, Sajjad Lone, the Chief Minister and finally the Prime Minister. It was changed at the last moment as PMO conveyed the time slot for the rally. In fact, Modi was supposed to speak for less than 30 minutes but he concluded in nearly 40 minutes.
Besides, Mufti was keen to see Prime Minister interacting with the opposition leaders including his predecessors Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and lawmakers Hakim Yasin, Ghulam Hassan Mir and M Y Tarigami. Initially the idea was to get a trade delegation also to interact with the visiting Prime Minister. This was aimed at projecting the visiting Prime Minister having an all-inclusive idea for J&K. But the paucity of time led to the cancellation of all these meetings.
Sources said the rain warning in Chenab belt was one of the factors that reduced the time slots available for Modi. Soon after the rally, he drove to BB cant and took off for Ramban in a chopper. His aircrafts also flew from Srinagar airport to Udhampur, wherefrom he has taken off for Delhi.