Airport project launch, Vande Bharat flag off in Modi’s Chennai tour schedule, Congress plans stir


APRIL 7, 2023

Chennai: At a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aggressively trying to make inroads in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Chennai Saturday and inaugurate and lay foundation stones for development projects worth over Rs 5,254 crore.

A five-tier security arrangement was put in place for the high-profile visit, with about 26,000 police personnel expected to be on duty in Chennai and Tambaram.

While the BJP is planning for a grand reception for Modi, the Congress has announced a black flag protest against the PM for “destroying democracy by undemocratically removing Rahul Gandhi”. The party leaders plan to release one lakh black balloons with ‘Go Back Modi’ written on them.

“The Prime Minister, who could not face our leader Rahul Gandhi, tried to put him down undemocratically. He destroyed Indian democracy. Wherever he goes in Tamil Nadu, we will carry black flag protests to condemn his autocratic governance,” Congress leader and MLA Selvaperunthagai K. said.

Last year, Modi visited Tamil Nadu thrice for laying the foundation and inauguration of projects (May 26), for attending the International Chess Olympiad and the Anna University convocation (28-29 July), and for addressing the 36th convocation of Gandhigram Rural Institute (11 November).

Tight schedule

The PM will land in Chennai and kickstart his visit by inaugurating the new integrated terminal building (Phase 1) of the Chennai airport. The construction of the new terminal cost Rs 1,260 crore to the exchequer.

From the airport, Modi will take the helicopter to INS Adyar and will then travel by road to Chennai central. The BJP will have supporters all along the route. “Around one lakh people will be there between INS Adyar and Chennai central to welcome the Prime Minister,” a senior BJP leader told ThePrint.

At Chennai’s MGR central railway station, Modi will flag off the Chennai-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express. He will then take part in the celebrations commemorating the 125th anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna Math. The PM is likely to address over 200 people at the  event which will be held in Vivekananda House, sources in the BJP leadership said.

Modi will then head to Alstrom cricket ground in Pallavaram in the evening where he is to flag off Southern Railway’s express service between Tambaram and Sengottai. The PM will also inaugurate the 37 km gauge conversion section between Thiruthuraipoondi and Agasthiyampalli, which was carried out at a cost of Rs 294 crore.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin, Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of State for I&B L. Murugan and Leader of Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami will accompany the prime minister.

“The foundation stone for road projects worth Rs 3,700 crore for a 7.3 km elevated corridor in Madurai city, a 24.4 km four-lane road of NH-785 and construction of road projects in NH-744 will also be laid,” BJP state president K. Annamalai said.

The PM will also address a public meeting at the Alstrom ground, where there will be 25,000 people gathered, sources in the BJP said.

After the event, the PM will fly to Mysuru for the Karnataka leg of his tour. He will then return on 9 April to visit the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Nilgiris. Modi is scheduled to meet  the Elephant Whispers famed couple Bomman and Bellie. Post the quick interaction with the couple, the PM will head back to Mysuru.

Courtesy/Source: This article originally appeared on The Print