New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday received a grand welcome in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai and virtually broke protocol for a surprise greeting to his supporters as he stepped out of his car to walk on the busy GST Road. Shah is in Chennai for a two-day visit and is set to address his party workers on cracking a strategy for the saffron party in the state ahead of next year’s assembly election. Also Read - After Nivar, Now Cyclone 'Burevi' to Hit Tamil Nadu on Dec 4, Second Storm Within Week Time
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 at the airport. Also Read - Jammu And Kashmir: Pakistan Violates Ceasefire In Rajouri District, Army Jawan Martyred
Witnessing a warm welcome overjoyed supporters who had thronged the airport since the morning, Shah couldn’t help but stopped his car, got out and walked a short distance, waving at scores of BJP and AIADMK workers who had gathered to receive him with their respective party flags. Also Read - Shehla Rashid Reacts To Her Estranged Father's Charges, Calls Them 'Absolutely Baseless'
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, he thanked the metropolis for its love and said it was “great” to be in Tamil Nadu, before heading for the hotel where he is put up.
Later in the day, the BJP veteran is slated to attend a Tamil Nadu government event, where he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 67,000 crore, including phase II of Chennai Metro Rail.
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.
Meanwhile, Shah took to Twitter to thank the city for its love and support.
“It is always great to be in Tamil Nadu. Thank you Chennai for this love and support,” he said in a tweet accompanying a video clip of his walk on GST Road.
Shad had earlier been here in August 2019 to release a book on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office then.
It must be noted that the BJP leader’s visit to the southern city comes amid signs of strained ties between the saffron party and Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK. Although the BJP has said it is confident of its continued alliance with the Palaniswami-led party, Shah’s visit hint that something else could be brewing before the state goes to poll next year.
Notably, Tamil Nadu is set to vote for a new government in less than six months. The upcoming assembly elections will be crucial as it will the first since the death of two of the tallest leaders – J Jayalalithaa of the AIADMK and M Karunanidhi of the rival DMK.
Although the BJP has received an immense push from the AIADMK in the state, the alliance suffered a huge defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, giving the opposition DMK an upper hand in the Rajya Sabha.