Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday travelled in normal traffic conditions without any special security restrictions, to a school in Delhi’s Paharganj to carry out his Swachhata Shramdaan (voluntary cleaning work).
Modi’s cavalcade was seen moving through usual traffic and stopping at signals, something very unusual as the PM’s routes are always sanitised for smooth movement, with people not even being allowed to stand on roadsides.
However, Saturday’s trip, from 7 Race Course Road to Baba Saheb Ambedkar School in Paharganj, a distance of about eight kilometres, caught everyone by surprise.
The Prime Minister’s Office said no special traffic arrangements were made for the movement of the Prime Minister and that he reached the venue in usual traffic conditions, according to news agency PTI.
According to sources, his office had not informed the security unit or the traffic police.
Images and a video of Modi’s cavalcade moving with other vehicles were circulated widely on social media.
@GoyalPradeepCA: “VVIP Culture gone, PM Modi like normal citizens at Delhi roads today, stopped cars at red signals and normal traffic movement on his way.”
दिल्ली की सड़को पे प्रधानमंत्री मोदी की गाडी और आस पास मोटरसाइकलों पे लोग. गाड़ियां लाल बत्ती पे भी रुकी. pic.twitter.com/1QYDac88Iy— Goyal Pradeep (@GoyalPradeepCA)
September 15, 2018
The Bharatiya Janata Party also shared a video of the PM’s convoy waiting for the signal.
“PM Modi has left for ‘Swachhata Shramdaan’ without any security route.”
प्रधानमंत्री मोदी बिना किसी सुरक्षा रूट के आम लोगों की तरह स्वच्छता श्रमदान के लिए जाते हुए। #SHS2018 pic.twitter.com/u6GI9yiych— BJP (@BJP4India)
September 15, 2018
The authorities of the school which the PM visited were unaware of the his visit. At around 11.15 am, the students were busy in a plantation drive with the teachers, when Modi’s convoy entered the school compound.
A police officer who was outside the school said, “Usually the convoy is of 10-15 cars whenever the Prime Minister is travelling. This also includes the vehicles from the Delhi police security department. The convoy was much smaller today. There were only 6-7 black SUVs”
Baba Sahib Ambedkar School near Ambedkar Bhawan on Jhansi Rani Road, Paharganj, has been operating under a trust named as Delhi Schedule Caste Welfare Association registered under Society Registration Act. The Society has been registered on June 17, 1946.
The campus was bought by Dr B. R Ambedkar himself in 1946 with an aim to advance the educational, social and economic wellbeing of scheduled castes.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Sep 15, 2018 23:49 IST