PM Modi to Mediate In Mid Sea Memorial for 45 Hours, DMK, Congress See it MCC Violation

   

KANYAKUMARI: All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 45-hour stay at the famed, mid-sea Vivekananda Rock Memorial here on Thursday, as he will sit on meditation at the place named after the revered Hindu saint.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by UP Chief Minister and RSS Chief performed the first darshan on the occasion of consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024.

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu petitioned the district collector against granting permission for the PM’s spiritual sojourn, citing the election model code of conduct that is in force, besides the ongoing tourism season that would see a good influx of domestic and foreign tourists.

The beach will be out of bounds for tourists from Thursday to Saturday and private boats would also not be allowed to ferry.

The district in the country’s southernmost tip will see a strong posse of 2,000 police personnel and various security agencies maintain a tight vigil during the PM’s event, five years after he went on a similar meditation exercise in a Kedarnath cave after the 2019 poll campaign.

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, here following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign on May 30, BJP leaders had said. He will meditate from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda — a spiritual icon admired by Modi — is believed to have had a divine vision about Bharat Mata, BJP leaders said.

The PM is also likely to offer prayers at the famous Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple here. Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, a towering 133 ft sculpture erected for the Tamil bard. The complex is located adjacent to the rock memorial.

Security has been beefed up ahead of Modi’s visit. Tirunelveli range DIG Pravesh Kumar accompanied by superintendent of police E Sundaravathanam had inspected the security arrangements at the rock memorial, boat jetty, helipad and the state guest house here.

Even as the Prime Minister’s core security team reached the venue, a trial of helicopter landing had also been conducted at the helipad.

About 2,000 police personnel would be deployed in and around Kanyakumari, which is on the international tourism map.

The presence of the Sri Bhagavathy Amman temple on the shore close to the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea tri-sea confluence, the Tiruvalluvar statue and the clean beach also add to the charm of the destination.

Describing the rock, the official website of the Kanyakumari district administration said, “according to legend, it was on this rock that Goddess Kanniyakumari did Tapas (meditation).”

As per his tentative schedule, Modi is expected to arrive at Kanyakumari late afternoon on May 30 for the spiritual sojourn. He would later proceed to the memorial.

He is likely to stay at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial till 3 pm on June 1, when the country will be voting in the seventh and final phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Since the Prime Minister would stay for about 45 hours to meditate, the coastal security group, Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy would maintain a vigil along the marine borders, said a source.

BJP functionaries had earlier said Modi’s decision to pick the spot in Kanyakumari for his spiritual sojourn underscores his commitment to bringing to fruition Vivekananda’s vision for the country.

He has been sounding confident about returning to power for a third term after the votes are counted on June 4. The last phase of polling is scheduled for June 1. Campaigning for polls ends two days before elections.

The rock, where the prime minister will meditate, had a major impact on Vivekananda’s life and holds a similar significance in the monk’s life as Sarnath for Gautam Buddha, they said.

It was here that Vivekananda arrived after wandering across the country, meditated for three days and had a vision for a developed India, they said.

“Meditating at the same place shows Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to bringing Swami ji’s vision of a Viksit Bharat to life,” a BJP leader said, adding, the place is also referred in holy texts as the site of Goddess Parvati’s meditation for Lord Shiva.

“Prime Minister Modi is giving a signal of national unity by going to Kanyakumari,” a leader said, adding that it also shows his deep commitment and affection for Tamil Nadu that he is visiting the state even after the elections are over.

The PM had made multiple visits to the state earlier this year, combining official work with visits to places of religious significance, such as Dhanushkodi which has a Ramayana connect.

Meanwhile the Congress on Wednesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to “circumvent” the silence period restrictions with his 48-hour meditation trip from May 30 in violation of the model code of conduct and urged the Election Commission to ensure that it is not aired by the media.

A delegation of Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Abhishek Singhvi and Syed Naseer Hussain met the Election Commission and handed over a memorandum with complaints of alleged model code violations by the BJP.

The Congress claimed that the meditation programme by the prime minister in Kanyakumari’s ‘Dhyan Mandapam” was a clear violation of the silence period ahead of the June 1 voting in Modi’s Varanasi constituency and other seats.

It was also in breach of the Model Code of Conduct and provisions under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the opposition party contended.

It said that on May 28, several news agencies reported on a trip that Narendra Modi would be taking to Kanyakumari, where he would undertake 48 hours of meditation at the Dhyan Mandapam, starting on May 30.

“The said trip would be widely televised and would therefore during the 48-hour silence period in Varanasi, the Constituency from which Shri Narendra Modi is contesting,” the party memorandum to EC said.

“Through the meditation trip, Shri Narendra Modi is attempting to circumvent 48 hour silence period and unfairly leverage the ethno-cultural significance of the chosen location in an attempt to bolster his campaign and maximise his vote share in violation of the Representation of the People Act, as well as Model Code of Conduct,” the party also said.

It was also against the orders related to Dos and Don’ts during the election period that political parties and their candidates are required to adhere to

“The PM will start his meditation on the evening of May 30 and we have complained about that. We all know that the silence period will begin on May 30 and thus his declaration is a violation of the MCC.

“The PM can start his meditation after 24-48 hours, which is from the evening of June 1. Otherwise, if he wants to meditate from May 30, then the ECI should ensure that this is not broadcast by the TV or print media,” Singhvi told reporters after the delegation met the CEC and other ECs.

“We hope that the ECI will take immediate steps to ensure that the live telecast of the meditation of the ‘sarva-ghoshit Bhagwan‘ (self-styled god) at the Vivekananda Memorial does not take place since this is a brazen and clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign on May 30, BJP leaders had said.

He will meditate from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1 at Dhyan Mandapam, the place where Vivekananda — a spiritual icon admired by Modi — is believed to have had a divine vision about ‘Bharat Mata’, BJP leaders said.

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