Prez arrives Odisha, to visit Sri Jagannath Temple



Bhubaneswar: President Pranab Mukherjee arrived here Wednesday evening on a two-day visit to Odisha amidst tight security arrangement.

Mukherjee, who came here on his maiden visit to the state after assuming office of the President, was accorded a warm welcome by Governor S C Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Bhubaneswar Mayor Anant Narayan Jena and other dignitaries at Biju Patnaik Airport here.

After landing by an Air Force plane, the President went straight to Raj Bhavan where the Governor will host a state banquet in honour of Mukherjee.

During the visit, the President would grace the 45th convocation of Utkal University here and pay darshan at Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri tomorrow.

Besides, personnel of central security forces, Odisha police have deployed about 40 platoons (1200 personnel) for the President's security.

The President will spend the night at Raj Bhavan and leave for the Utkal University convocation at about 10.45 am tomorrow.

The President will leave for Puri and reach Sri Jagannth Temple at about 1.05 pm and spend about an hour inside the 12th century shrine.

"The President will have his vegetarian lunch at the Raj Bhavan at Puri for which arrangements have been made," said Puri district collector N K Nayak.

As the President is scheduled to visit the shrine during peak of summer, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration has arranged a palm leaf umbrella for Mukherjee to provide him shed inside the temple premises.

"This apart, white paint has been marked on the stone floor in the temple premises as the President will walk bare foot," said an official staff of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration.

The President is scheduled to return to the national capital tomorrow evening, sources said.

PTI