As Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched Dharmasthala, the crowd cheered him and chanted, 'Modi..Modi'. The cheer became only louder when he waved at them. A traditional music played in the background to mark his arrival. He was received by Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr D Veerendra Heggade and temple authorities.
Modi is the first prime minister to visit this famous pilgrimage centre in Dakshina Kannada district. Reports suggested that Modi will wear the traditional 'panche' and 'shalya' while entering the temple and will spend more close to 45 minutes at the temple offering special puja to the presiding deity Manjunatha. He will later meet Heggade family and will also participate in the photo session, it is reported.
Later, Modi will later travel to Ujire by road. The whole nine-kilometre stretch has been declared zero-traffic. Ujire is identified as the Naxal-prone area, and the security personnel have scanned the whole area and have implemented three-tier security at a stretch.
Modi will participate in a programme where he will symbolically hand over the RuPay cards to a few members of the self-help groups of the Sri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) at the Ratnaverma Heggade auditorium. It is reported that he will also participate in a programme - in Ujire itself - where the State bank of India will sign a memorandum of Understanding for cashless transactions for the SKDRDP.
Seating arrangements have been made to accommodate at least 1,50,000 audience. The security personnel have banned those wearing a black dress from entering the auditorium.
Earlier, he was received by Union ministers DV Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar, Mangaluru Mayor Kavitha Sanil, UT Khader and others at the Mangaluru International Airport.