As PM Modi Starts 2-Day Meditation At Kanyakumari, Opposition Cries Foul

Chennai: High-pitched campaigning for the marathon 18th Lok Sabha elections, lasting two-and-a-half months, ended on Thursday evening.

The seventh and final phase of polling will be held on June 1 in 57 Parliamentary constituencies across 7 states and one UT, along with 42 Assembly seats in Odisha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wrapped up his 76-day campaign which included over 200 public programmes including rallies and roadshows, on Thursday arrived in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari — where he had begun his campaign on March 16 – to start a two-day meditation.

Modi, who arrived at India’s southernmost tip from Thiruvananthapuram, offered prayers at Bhagavathi Amman temple before moving to Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

He will meditate for around 45 hours at Dhyan Mandapam, where Swami Vivekananda is believed to have had a divine vision about ‘Bharat Mata’.

Modi’s post-campaign meditation, though, is being fiercely opposed by more and more parties.

The Congress alleged on Wednesday that the PM was trying to “circumvent” the silence period restrictions ahead of seventh phase of polling with his meditation trip from May 30 to June 1, and urged Election Commission of India (ECI) to ensure it is not aired by the media as it’s a “clear violation” of the model code of conduct.

Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, Abhishek Singhvi and Syed Naseer Hussain met ECI bosses and handed over a memorandum along with 27 other complaints of alleged model code violations by the BJP in the last few days.

“The said trip would be widely televised and would therefore be shown during the 48-hour silence period in Varanasi, the constituency from which Shri Narendra Modi is contesting,” Congress stated in its memorandum to ECI.

“Through the meditation trip, Shri Narendra Modi is attempting to circumvent the 48-hour silence period and unfairly leverage the ethno-cultural significance of the chosen location in an attempt to bolster his campaign and maximise his vote share in violation of the Representation of the People Act, as well as the Model Code of Conduct,” Congress added.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) was just as vocal on Thursday.

Party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taunted the PM by saying: “Let him meditate, but why with cameras?”

Mamata demanded that no TV channel channel or media outlet should be showing Modi’s meditation.

The CPI(M), an INDIA bloc ally, has also spoken out against the timing of Modi’s programme.

The ECI is yet to issue any directive stopping the media from covering Modi’s meditation.

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