Varanasi: Elaborate security arrangements are in place in Varanasi which is all decked up to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Saturday.
Nearly 7,000 security personnel have been pressed into service for the high-profile visit lasting about four hours.
The two leaders are likely to arrive at around 4:00 pm at the Babatpur Airport on the outskirts of the city. They will be received at the airport, among others, by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Union Ministers Manoj Sinha and Kalraj Mishra.
This is what the two leaders are scheduled to do in this ancient temple town:
- After a brief stop-over at a hotel, the two Prime Ministers will drive straight to the fabled Dashashwamedh Ghat where they will watch the "Ganga Arti", an exquisitely choreographed ritual performed daily on the banks of the river.
- The two PMs will attend a cultural extravaganza being held at hotel Taj Gateway in Nadesar. Zamin Hussain Khan, a son of legendary Shehnai player late Ustad Bismillah Khan, will be performing at the event to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
- Thereafter, Modi and Abe will interact with dignitaries over dinner wherein invitees include, besides the Governor, the CM and the Union Ministers, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, renowned musician and Padma Bhushan awardee Pandit Channu Lal Mishra, author Neerja Madhav, Pandit Ashok Dwivedi of the Kashi Visvanath Temple Trust and a number of other prominent personalities from various walks of life.
- The Prime Ministers are expected to board their return flight to New Delhi at around 8:00 pm.