New Delhi: Thousands of BJP supporters gave a rousing welcome Saturday to Narendra Modi, set to be India's prime minister, as he flew into Delhi and set out in a motorcade to the party headquarters.
A sea of supporters waved BJP flags, blew conches, beat drums, danced and shouted slogans as soon as Modi stepped out of the airport after flying in from Gujarat. The celebrations continued all through the long route.
Besides BJP president Rajnath Singh, the seven newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party MPs from Delhi were among those who received Modi, visiting Delhi a day after the announcement of the Lok Sabha results.
As Modi set out from the airport, he leaned out of the front window and flashed a V sign.
The motorcade, now protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG), then proceeded to the BJP headquarters, at times slowing down to acknowledge the greetings of Modi fans gathered on the streets.
A mass of flag carrying, Modi-mask wearing supporters were at select spots along the route from the airport to the BJP office in the heart of the capital.
Modi led his party to a stunning victory, making the BJP the first non-Congress party since independence in 1947 to win a comfortable majority on its own in the 545-member Lok Sabha.
"We have great hopes from Modiji. There is no leader like him," Poornima Rawat, a young party worker, told IANS.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media: "Today is a day of celebration. Party workers are enthusiastic. The country is enthusiastic. Entire India has voted for him."
More than 1,000 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Delhi Police personnel were deployed at the airport since early morning.
Modi contested from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He won handsomely from both places.
Modi is here to attend a key BJP meeting. He will later Saturday visit Varanasi to pray at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and take part in the Ganga Aarti.
Varanasi is all set to accord a warm welcome to Narendra Modi today after he led the BJP to a historic victory in the Lok Sabha polls and won by thumping margins from this temple town.
Tight security arrangements have been put in place here in view of Modi's scheduled visit later in the day with a special team of Gujarat Police carrying out inspections of all the spots which he was likely to pass through.
"Modi is likely to arrive at Babatpur Airport at around 1645 hours after which he would leave for Police Lines via helicopter. From Police Lines, his cavalcade will leave for Kashi Vishwanath Temple where he will offer prayers before reaching Dashashwamedh Ghat to take part in Ganga Aarti", Media coordinator for BJP's Kashi Prant unit Sanjay Bharadwaj said.
He said there was no information as to whether any other prominent BJP leaders would be accompanying Modi but added that such a possibility could not be ruled out. He also said that there was no formal communication as to whether Modi would like to address the people of Varanasi a day after he won the Lok Sabha seat here by a margin of about 3.7 lakh votes. Party sources said that BJP supporters from adjoining districts like Chandauli, Bhadohi and Mirzapur are also likely to turn up in large numbers to accord a warm reception to their leader.
A large number of security personnel have been deployed at the Dashashwamedh Ghat where the Ganga Arati attracts huge crowds on a daily basis and which also witnessed a bomb explosion in 2010 which had killed two persons and left several others injured.
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