NEW DELHI: The venues for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega-events abroad are not longer there for the asking. The authorities in the UK have made it clear that the 60,000 persons expected to crowd the venue to hear and cheer Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot spill on to the pitch by attaching a heavy penalty to violations. And at about the same time the Singapore government has also decided to regulate access to another mega-event being organised for PM Modi at a massive arena in Singapore Expo on November 24.

These two moves have sparked off speculation in Delhi’s chattering classes whether foreign governments are getting a little tired of hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extravaganzas that bring them little benefit. Singapore, always a practitioner of fine tuned diplomacy, has restricted access to the venue to only Indian passport holders with visas to visit or live in Singapore, and of course permanent residents of whom there are not too many.

The host governments have till now looked on askance as PM Modi and his ‘friends’ in respective countries organise these events a la Madison Square garden directly with the Indian diaspora. President Barack Obama perhaps was an exception when he allowed a non voluntary government organisation in New Delhi to organise a meeting for him at the Siri Fort Auditorium that clearly had the stamp of the US mission in India all over it. He used this to address the people here, with an oblique warning against intolerance.

PM Modi uses these events to touch base with the Indian diaspora, project himself and his own views, and make a connect with the domestic issues in India. He does not seek to make a connection with the foreign governments through the Indians, taking them basically as Indian citizens and hence a large constituency for him and the BJP.

Reports suggest that the Singapore government’s restrictions have caused some worry for the organisers who could be soon struggling to fill the massive venue. It is seen by some former diplomats here as a indication to New Delhi that governments are not very happy at having the Indian Prime Minister reach out to who are now essentially their citizens, over their heads. Singapore citizens reportedly will have to take special permission to attend the PM’s event.

The Telegraph, Kolkata has reported that the Singapore Telugu Samajam has sent a circular to members that “all the non-resident Indian (NRI) members of our organisation including permanent residents (PRs) are welcome to register online by visiting ‘’ and expressing interest to take part in the event.” The circular, dated October 19, adds that “if any of our members who are citizens of Singapore are interested in attending the event, please contact the organisers to express your interest. Please note that such registration is only an expression of interest to attend the event and it doesn’t guarantee an entry pass.”

In plain language, what it means is that the Singapore authorities reserve the right to order that passes may not be issued to Singapore citizens as and when permission is sought for individual applications for participation.”

The newspaper further adds that, “the Maharashtra Mandal of Singapore is a little more explicit than the Telugu Samajam in its circular dated October 13.

“If any of our members who are citizens of Singapore (are) interested in attending the event, (they) can express their interest online on the same (registration) form by marking ‘Nationality’ as ‘Others’ and country as ‘Singapore’. This event is mainly aimed at NRIs, i.e. people carrying Indian passport.”