Elaborate security arrangements are in place here for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of his Lok Sabha constituency on Sunday, his seventh visit to the ancient temple town after assuming office about two years ago.
The personnel of Special Protection Group (SPG), which looks after the security of the PM as well as other VVIPs, have been camping in the city for the past few days.
The UP police has also deployed 15 SPs, 23 ASPs, 58 DSPs and hundreds of lower-rank police personnel, in addition to companies of Rapid Action Force, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Home Guards, to ensure his safety and smooth traffic flow.
Divers of the Navy, National Disaster Response Force and PAC have been stationed at a ghat on the banks of the Ganga, which Modi is scheduled to visit later in the day.
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Earlier Sunday morning, the Prime Minister reached the Babatpur airport. He was received, among others, by Governor Ram Naik and state minister Brahma Shankar Tripathi.
From the airport, Modi took off in a helicopter for Ballia.
He is expected to return to Varanasi in the afternoon and spend close to six hours in the city during which he will preside over a function where e-rickshaws will be distributed among hundreds of beneficiaries.
At the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) premises, where the function will be held, Modi is also likely to interact with distinguished persons hailing from the city, including artists, educationists, jurists and those running Self-Help Groups.
The Prime Minister will then pay a visit to ‘Jnana Pravah’ –- a centre for cultural studies -– where he is to meet city-girl Soni Chaurasia who recently set a world record by giving a non-stop 126-hour Kathak dance performance.
The Prime Minister will then leave for the Assi Ghat, where he will launch 11 solar-powered boats.
Modi has been calling for cleaning up the Ganga ever since he got elected from Varanasi in May, 2014 general elections.
The solar-powered boats, which are also referred to as e-boats or eco-boats, are aimed at reducing the alarming pollution levels in the holy river.