CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Chennai airport at 9.35 am amidst a sea of protests and "Go back Modi" slogans. Modi who had come to inaugurate the Defence Expo 2018 at Thiruvidanthai at the outskirts of Chennai.
Minutes after his landing, the cadre of political parties and film personalities who were waiting to show black flags to Modi were arrested. The arrested includes film directors Bharathiraja, Vetrimaran, Gowthaman, Aamir and cadres of a few fringe outfits.
The reason for the protests was the failure of the Central government in forming Cauvery Management board to overlook sharing of the river's water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu despite an order from the Supreme court.
DMK party men are lined up along the Anna Salai from the airport to Saidapet to wave black flags to Modi, even as the latter was only taking a helicopter to fly across the city.
But what stole the show was the highly dangerous protests carried out by the cadre of Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Karachi who climbed atop a huge advertisement board erected near the airport and waved black flags.
Since the sun was getting hotter every minute, the doubts on whether the TVK cadre can withstand the onslaught of scorching heat. Police personnel’s efforts to bring them down failed.
Meanwhile, TVK leader Velmurugan who were staging a demonstration along with his cadre in another part of the city and requested his cadre atop advertisement board to get down through TV channels.
But his appeal did not reach the cadre. Meanwhile, film director Bharathiraja and others also appealed to them to come down but the protestors were unrelenting.
Pazha Nedumaran of Thamizhar Desiya Munnani was arrested for staging black flag. Supporters of RK Nagar MLA, TTV Dhinakaran released black balloons as a form of protest.
Meanwhile, at Sirkazhi in the state's Cauvery delta region, DMK working president MK Stalin commenced his yatra by wearing cloths.
Modi who will be will be addressing the Defence Expo 2018, later today was received at the airport by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan. From there, the prime minister went to DefExpo venue by helicopter.
Traffic diversion for Modi visit
The following traffic arrangements will be made in the city between 11 am and 2.30 pm on Thursday in view of the Prime Minister’s visit to the city.
A police press release said vehicles coming to Adyar from Chennai Airport via Kathipara flyover, Guindy Bridge, Halda Junction, Little Mount and Sardar Patel Road won’t be allowed to turn towards Raj Bhavan.
Instead, all vehicles should continue towards Saidapet and turn right at Nandanam junction to take Chamier’s road and Thiru Vi Ka Bridge.
Vehicles from Adyar to airport, will not be allowed to go straight on Sardar Patel Road beyond Madhya Kailash junction.
They will have to turn left towards Tidel Park and take right at SRP tools junction and reach airport via Velachery.
Vehicles will not be allowed also via Gandhi Mandapam Road, the release said.
Saidapet to Airport
DMK sources said partymen would line up from Saidapet to Airport waving black flags though the PM would take the aerial route to reach the venues