Amit Shah springs a surprise and walks on Chennai road, protester flings placard at him

The protester Durairaj of Nanganallur, who threw a placard, has been taken into custody.
Amit Shah visits Chennai
Amit Shah visits Chennai
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The Chennai Police have detained a man for throwing a placard when the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah got down from his convoy and walked on GST Road to greet BJP and AIADMK cadre. Amit Shah sprang a surprise on Saturday when he virtually broke protocol to get out of his vehicle and walk on the busy GST Road outside the Chennai airport to greet supporters, minutes after he landed for a two-day visit to the city. The Home Minister reached Chennai on Saturday afternoon to attend a slew of events including inaugurating government projects and holding political talks ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021.

In the video that emerged from the spot, a man standing amidst a group of supporters near the pavement on GST road threw a placard over the barricades placed to control the crowd. The placard did not affect the movement of the leader but the police have secured the man for questioning. The incident has been reported in Chennai at a time when hashtag #GobackAmitShah has been trending on Twitter since Friday night. According to the police, the protester is 67-year-old Durairaj, a resident of Nanganallur in Chennai. 

Amit Shah’s decision to break protocol and walk a few meters on the otherwise busy stretch was a clear political message to the opposition and people of Tamil Nadu that the BJP is here to stay. His move comes over two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted in Tamil Nadu by a number of protesters, who carried black flags and carried placards that read, ‘Go Back Modi’. At the time, the PM had chosen to skip travelling by road, instead taking to the skies in a helicopter.  

It is the BJP leader’s first visit to the state since he became Home Minister. Shah is slated to attend a Tamil Nadu government event later in the day, where he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 67,000 crore, including phase II of the Chennai Metro Rail.

Soon after his arrival from Delhi, Shah was received by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, senior cabinet members and BJP State President L Murugan among others, before proceeding to the city hotel where he will be put up. However, after exiting the airport, Shah's car suddenly stopped and the BJP veteran got out, before walking a short distance, waving at scores of BJP and AIADMK workers who had gathered to receive him with their respective party flags.

Accompanied by BJP National General Secretary and party in-charge of poll-bound Tamil Nadu, CT Ravi, and Murugan, with his security detail in tow, the Home Minister warmly waved at the supporters who had thronged the airport since the morning.

A heavy security cover has been provided in the city following Shah's visit, during which he will meet state BJP functionaries and possibly discuss Tamil Nadu elections, due next April-May, before leaving on Sunday morning.

(With inputs from PTI)

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