PM Modi breaks protocol, travels without traffic restrictions to receive Bangladesh PM
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina with PM Modi waves to the media upon her arrival at the airport in New Delhi on April 7. Photograph: (AFP)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to politically surprise political adversaries but what happened today (April 7) surprised the Prime Minister Office itself. Highly placed sources confirmed that the prime minister travelled to the Technical terminal of the Indira Gandhi international airport to receive Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina without any traffic restrictions. Sources say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Lok Kalyan Marg in a truncated cavalcade to the airport an hour before the arrival of Sheikh Hasina.
Sources told DNA-WION that the truncated cavalcade of the prime minister had to stop at Sardar Patel Marg’s red light and his cavalcade slowed down considerably near RR Hospital but people travelling around could not realise that the Prime Minister Modi was travelling inside one of the sedans. Sheikh Hasina’s plane touched down around 12.14 pm and PM Modi reached the venue around 12.09 pm. Sources say that it is a message from the prime minister that VVIP movement should not cause public inconvenience. Though the protocol was in place when the prime minister returned to his residence. A highly-placed source said, "Since protocol was in place for Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister in a gap of six minutes took the same route."
DNA-WION spoke to Yashovardhan Azad former secretary security to government of India, who said, "It can be done. It depends on the confidence of the protectee and the agency protecting him. More so unpredictability is the key. It accords security so it can be done.” He also said that nature of route and terrain too makes a difference but if basic security remains then such feats can be achieved.
What was even more unusual was that Prime Minister Modi interacted with the Bangladeshi media after Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left the venue. Sources in the Prime Minister Office confirmed that Narendra Modi stayed at the tarmac for five to seven minutes and spoke to the delegation who to their heart’s content took selfies with him. It is rare that Indian Prime Minister goes to the tarmac to receive dignitaries. Narendra Modi in past has received former United States President Barak Obama twice and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi once. He went and received Sheikh Hasina, a sign that he accords this visit lot of importance to this visit.
In her 3-day visit to India from 7th-10th April, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to give the Indo-Bangladesh (WION)