Campaigning Ends, PM Meditates At Vivekananda Rock Memorial In Kanniyakumari

Over 2,000 police personnel have been posted around the memorial to ensure the PM's security.

The spiritual sojourn has also sparked a political row.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Kanniyakumari and is meditating at the Vivekananda Rock memorial, where he will remain till Saturday evening. 

The Prime Minister is meditating at the Dhyan Mandapam, the same spot where the Hindu philosopher-saint Swami Vivekananda had meditated in 1892 to get a clear vision of the future of India.

It is also the meeting point of the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and BJP leaders said the choice of Kanniyakumari gives out a message of national unity. 

Over 2,000 police personnel have been posted around the memorial to ensure the PM's security, and the Coast Guard and the Navy will also maintain vigil.

Campaigning for the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls ended at 5 pm today and the PM had also undertaken a spiritual sojourn to Kedarnath - where he had meditated in a cave - when the silence period began before the last phase of the 2019 elections. 

The PM's meditation has also sparked a political row. The Congress had claimed yesterday that the Prime Minister was trying to "circumvent" the silence period restrictions and approached the Election Commission to ensure that visuals of him meditating are not aired by the media as that would violate the model code of conduct. A delegation of Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Abhishek Singhvi and Syed Naseer Hussain had handed over a memorandum to the Election Commission. 

The Tamil Nadu unit of the CPM also wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner asking for a ban on the telecast of visuals of PM Modi meditating as it could become "propaganda material", defeating the purpose of the silence period and the concept of a level playing field. Stating that meditation is a private thing, the party alleged that, in this case, a tacit attempt is being made to influence voters. 

Addressing a crowd at a Kolkata roadshow today, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Prime Minister and said, "The chair of the PM is valuable and it has constitutional responsibilities. They don't care about it. Every time before counting, he sits somewhere to gain publicity for 48 hours. He may meditate, but why in the presence of cameras?" 

The BJP has hit back and said the INDIA alliance's opposition to the PM's meditation plan betrays its 'anti-Sanatan mindset'. 

"If someone wants to go for meditation, that too when the election campaign ends on May 30, because that person took inspiration from Swami Vivekananda, why is the Congress party calling it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)?" BJP National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla told ANI.

"It is because of the anti-Hindu attitude of the Congress. A party like Trinamool Congress is also opposing Swami Vivekananda... People say that he (Rahul Gandhi) often goes abroad for meditation, he can go there at his centre of faith and no one stops him," he added.