The intermittent rains in Shimla since early morning on Thursday added to the chaos as most of the roads leading to The Mall and historic ridge, the venue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally were closed due to security reasons.
However, this failed to dampen the spirits of party workers who converged in Shimla across the state to attend PM's rally.
The local residents were a harried lot as they didn’t knew which route to take to reach their destination. The roads leading to Mall Road from AG Office and Cart Road to The Ridge were closed for public as PM's cavalcade was to pass through these roads. It was for the first time that the entire Mall Road was barricaded to make way for the PM’s cavalcade.
Modi’s cavalcade was welcomed by party workers who showered flowers on his car as he passed through the Mall Road to reach rally venue at The Ridge.
The enthusiastic workers kept waiting for PM to arrive at the venue even through the rain while chanting patriotic slogans and ‘Modiji ka swagat hai’.
“We are here to welcome Modiji and rain won’t hinder us from attending the rally,” said Sanjay Sharma, a BJP supporter from Shimla.
Kushal Chauhan, a BJP worker from Nahan in Sirmaur district, said he had come to Shimla to attend the rally but the entire rally venue was full to the capacity. “Adding to the chaos and confusion, the Police didn’t guide the visitors which caused inconvenience to many,” he said, adding they should have told them that it’s already jam-packed.
The locals were a harried lot as most the routes they used to take daily to work were closed due to security reasons. Some even preferred to stay at home to avoid the inconvenience and rush while the schools in the vicinity of the rally were closed today.
The tourists who had came to Shimla to enjoy the serene beauty of the ‘Queen of Hills’ and were unaware of PM Modi’s visit, too seemed confused. “We had came to visit Shimla from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and wanted to visit Mall Road and The Ridge. But all roads leading to these places are jam-packed,” said Amit Mishra, who had came to Shimla with his newlywed wife and friends.
Even shops and eating joints on these routes were closed, causing inconvenience to the locals. Small vendors on the Mall Road were asked to close their shops since the last three days.