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French Prez arrives in Chandigarh; India honoured, says Modi

67th Republic Day Updated: Jan 25, 2016 14:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The city is festooned with posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande.(Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Chandigarh, commencing his three-day visit to India from the city designed by French architect Le Corbusier.

French Prez arrives in Chandigarh; India honoured, says Modi

Live blog: French President Hollande touches down

Hollande was welcomed by Chandigarh Administrator and governor of Punjab and Haryana, Kaptan Singh Solanki, and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Others present at the airport included BJP MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher, Advisor to Administrator Vijay Dev and Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal.

Shortly before the arrival of the French leader, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “A warm welcome to French President @fhollande. We are honoured & delighted to have him as the Chief Guest for Republic Day celebrations.”

“President @fhollande & I will meet in Chandigarh & Delhi. We will build on the ground covered during our previous interactions,” the Prime Minister added.

Bhangra and Gidha troupes presented a traditional welcome to Hollande.

Modi, who will arrive later around 2 pm, is scheduled to meet Hollande at the Rock Garden at 2.45 pm.

The two leaders will then proceed for sightseeing and visit the Capitol Complex and the Government Museum and Art gallery, where Hollande will be shown fossil discovered from the Shivalik Hills by French and Indian archaeologists.

Later in the afternoon, Modi and Hollande will attend the ‘India-France Business Summit’ with at least 25 corporate honchos from France and India at Hotel Taj.

Around 6 pm, the two premiers will fly separately to Delhi, where Hollande will attend the Republic Day parade on January 26 as the chief guest.

Hollande is the second foreign dignitary to visit Chandigarh on a state visit. Then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was here in 2011 to watch the Cricket World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan at Mohali.

(with agency inputs)

Security personnel outside Rock Garden in Chandigarh on Saturday. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

Read: French Prez to get traditional welcome; Punjabi food on menu