2,000 cops, no tourists, no private boats as PM Modi to begin 45-hour meditation in Kanyakumari tomorrow

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial, designed by the renowned architect Eknath Ranade, is located in the sea on an island rock, amidst the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Representative image/Shutterstock/satish solanki

Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu): Heavy security is in place as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to sit on a 45-hour long meditation at the famed, mid-sea Vivekananda Rock Memorial, named after the revered Hindu saint, here on Thursday. However, the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (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 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.

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.

"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, that the place is also referred to 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.

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