Madras HC gives nod to PM Modi’s Coimbatore roadshow after police deny permission

Security reasons were cited by the state govt for denying the permission

Modi LS polls roadshow Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi waves at supporters during a roadshow in Bengaluru | PTI

The Madras High Court on Friday gave a nod to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's roadshow in Coimbatore scheduled on March 18. The permission for the roadshow was denied by the state government citing security risks. 

The Tamil Nadu BJP unit had approached the Madras HC challenging the police order denying the permission. 

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi is currently touring south Indian states. 

The 4-km roadshow in Coimbatore has been planned as a part of the road rallies in other Southern cities, starting from Hyderabad on Friday. 

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh gave the directive to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, R. S. Puram Range, on a petition filed by J. Ramesh Kumar, BJP District President, Coimbatore, challenging the state order. 

In the petition, permission was sought to conduct a 4-km roadshow from Mettupalayam road, Coimbatore. He further added that the roadshow was to sensitise the people of Coimbatore about various welfare schemes launched by the PM and urge them to avail of those through Direct Benefit Transfer without any interference from touts. 

While granting the permission, among a few conditions, the judge said that no flex boards would be allowed to be erected by the organisers during the event. The petitioner shall comply with the conditions imposed by the Assistant Commissioner. 

The stand taken by the Assistant Commissioner that no permission has ever been granted for a road show to anyone was found 'baseless' by the court. 

On many occasions, permission has been granted for roadshows for political leaders to meet the people. Therefore, this cannot be a ground for rejecting the permission, the judge added.

The judge also added that these leaders have been chosen by the people and hence, they should not be stopped from meeting the elected them. 

Regarding the concerns raised over the security risk, the court observed that the PM was provided with Special Protection Group (SPG) cover at all times and they generally take over the security arrangements to ensure that the visit of the Prime Minister goes on smoothly by providing maximum security.

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