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Ram Nath Kovind on two-day UP visit from Today

Elaborate arrangements are being made in the state capital to receive the Ram Nath Kovind and security has also been beefed up

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Ram Nath Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind. IANS

Lucknow, Sep 14, 2017: President Ram Nath Kovind will arrive here on Thursday on a two-day visit, his first since ascending to the highest constitutional office in the country.

He will also visit his home town during the visit. Elaborate arrangements are being made in the state capital to receive the President and security has also been beefed up.

The President will arrive in a special Indian Air Force plane at the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport here around 3 p.m. on Thursday where he will be received by Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and some Ministers.

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He will be driven straight to Raj Bhawan where he would briefly rest and then go to the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan where the state government has organised a public felicitation event for the President, who hails from Kanpur rural.

More than 1,500 people have been invited for the function, an official said.

Breaking protocol, Kovind will drive to the 5, Kalidas Marg residence of Adityanath at night for dinner.

He will meet dignitaries and other people from the political spectrum on Friday before leaving for Kanpur in the afternoon in a chopper. The President will return later in the evening to Lucknow and then fly back to New Delhi.

The last time Ram Nath Kovind was in town was on June 25 as the National Democratic Alliance presidential nominee. (IANS)

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrives in Taj City Agra

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BJP, Yogi Adityanath
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Agra, October 26: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrived here on Thursday, a visit seen as a damage control exercise.

He will first visit the Nagla Pema area where a rubber check dam is likely to be constructed.

Locals are hoping that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will unfold a package for infrastructural development of Agra and soothe frayed tempers ignited by a series of controversial statements by politicians on the Taj Mahal.

He will visit the Taj Mahal where a cleanliness drive has been organized at its western gate.

The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled to launch Pro-Poor Tourism projects and address a public gathering at the GIC ground later in the day.

Adityanath’s visit to the Taj city comes after BJP MLA Sangeet Som had stirred controversy last week when he called the 17th-century marble wonder a blot on Indian culture, while some other right-wing politicians have said the Unesco World Heritage Site visited by millions was not representative of the Indian socio-cultural ethos.

His last visit to Agra was on May 7.(IANS)

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IAF Jets carry out Drill on Agra-Lucknow Expressway

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IAF's Mirage 2000
IAF's Mirage 2000 stationed at Gwalior Air Base. Wikimedia

Lucknow, October 25: Several aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday touched down and took off as part of a special drill on a 4-kilometre stretch of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district.

The exercise by the IAF, in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh government, saw a C-130 J Super Hercules transport aircraft make a short landing on the highway, around 65 km from Lucknow.

Garud Commandos disembarked from the aircraft, on foot as well as on a Gypsy, onto the highway-cum-runway.

It took off again, after which around 15 fighter jets touched down or made low overshoot over the highway.

This is the first time a transport aircraft participated in such an exercise in India.

The jets included three Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft, two formations of three aircraft each of Mirage 2000s and two formations of three aircraft each of Sukhoi-30.

The exercise culminated with the C-130 J returning for another short landing.

C-130_J
C-130J-30 SUPER HERCULES tactical airlift aircraft stationed at IAF’s Air Base at Hindon. Wikimedia

“This is an important exercise for war as well as peacetime in case of emergencies like providing humanitarian assistance, evacuation or distribution of relief material,” spokesperson Gargi Malik Sinha said.

On May 21, 2016, a Mirage 2000 had touched down on the Yamuna Expressway.

A number of highways have been cleared by the government for being used as an airstrip for emergencies.(IANS)

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Ayodhya Deepotsav: Yogi Adityanath attends the Grand Celebration on the banks of Saryu River; Chants of “Jai Shri Ram” Echoed

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The small oil clay lamps are lit on this auspicious festival of India
The small oil clay lamps are lit on this auspicious festival of India "DIWALI". Pixabay

Ayodhya, October 18: Chants of “Jai Shri Ram” echoed on the banks of the Saryu river as actors portraying the roles of Lord Rama and Sita arrived here on a chopper decked up to resemble the mythological Pushpak Viman – in a recreation of Lord Rama’s return from 14 years of exile to Ayodhya – as part of a grand ‘Deepotsav’ celebration, attended by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and senior ministers were also in attendance for the event in the flower-bedecked and gaily lighted temple town on Wednesday evening.

Tonnes of flower petals were showered as the actors portraying the characters from the Ramayana arrived at the venue of the Ram Lila.

As part of the Deepotsav, a record 1.73 lakh diyas or earthern lamps will be lighted on the banks of the Saryu.

The event is being hosted by the Tourism Department of the Uttar Pradesh government.

The state government placed full-page advertisements in newspapers and the entire government machinery has been pressed into service to make the event a grand success.

The Chief Minister has said the efforts by his government to “recreate the treta yug Diwali” was aimed to promote Ayodhya as a tourist draw, but opposition parties have alleged the BJP is trying to drum up support for its communal politics.

“This is all being done with an eye on the Gujarat elections and the BJP leaders are trying to deflect the attention from its failure in UP,” a senior BSP leader said.

Talking to IANS, a Samajwadi Party leader said the past governments have been promoting Ayodhya as a tourist destination and the Adityanath government’s mega event was “merely to whitewash its failures”.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has trashed the opposition charges as baseless.

Senior Congress leader Alok Sharma said the event was being held with an eye on the Gujarat elections. “I hope the BJP also finds equal focus for the innocent infants who died in Gorakhpur due to shortage of oxygen,” he said.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the Deepotsav, that will commence after dusk. (IANS)