Chennai is all decked up to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will launch the first National Handloom Day celebrations at an event organsied by the union textiles ministry at the Madras University auditorium on Friday morning.
Security has been beefed up for the Prime Minister's first major visit to Chennai even as an anti-liquor campaign has gathered pace and seen sporadic violent incidents here and there. Modi had visited Chennai briefly on his way to Sri Harikota in 2014
Modi is expected to arrive at around 10.30 am and reach the Madras University Centenary Auditorium for the function. He is likely to call on chief minister J Jayalalithaa at her residence after the function, sources said. Last week Modi visited Rameshwaram for former president APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral, which Jayalalithaa could not attend owing to her health condition.
On the occasion of National Handloom Day, Modi will confer the Sant Kabir awards and National awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 to distinguished handloom personalities.
Police and security personnel carried out drills as the route from Chennai airport to Madras University was dotted with cutouts and posters hailing Modi as a man of many missions and an architect of a newer, cleaner and better India. In some places, the cutouts and posters were within a feet of each other, and at some spots, they even surrounded those of Jayalalithaa's.
Students of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, decorated Madras University's Senate House building with handloom weaves from across the country for the event. The venue would also host an exhibition of products from different parts of the country.
(With ANI inputs)