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Varanasi preparing to welcome PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to undertake tomorrow his first visit to his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi after assuming charge.

Preparations are in full swing and tight security is in place in the ancient temple town where Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre for weavers and also adopt a village under his "Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana" (MPs' model village scheme).

According to Inspector General of Police (Public Grievances) Ashok Jain, 12 SP rank police officials of Uttar Pradesh, 18 Additional SPs, 20 Deputy SPs, 135 sub-inspectors, besides more than 1000 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary have been deployed.

The Special Protection Group (SPG) which is responsible for the Prime Minister's security would be assisted by officials and personnel of the Uttar Pradesh police.

Although there has been no official communication so far as to who would be coming along with the PM, I G (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh said arrangements have been made keeping mind the possibility of "five to six Union Ministers" accompanying Modi.

The Prime Minister's visit, which is likely to last a little over 24 hours, has sent soaring the hope of a better future among residents of the temple town, which has been attracting people from far and wide since times immemorial. 

Among the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi has been constantly in the spotlight ever since Modi chose to retain the constituency he had won by a huge margin of 3.7 lakh votes, vacating Vadodara in his home state of Gujarat where his victory (by 5.7 lakh votes) was even bigger.

Soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi had visited the city and offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Mandir and taken part in Ganga Aarti.

During his tour, the Prime Minister is likely to lay the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre and a crafts museum, announcement for which was made in the first general budget presented by his government in June this year.

The project is aimed at the uplift of the weavers, whose plight had been repeatedly highlighted in election speeches by Modi who had vowed to take steps for their betterment.

The Prime Minister is also likely to "adopt" a village under the "Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana", announced by him in his Independence Day address as an attempt to "empower villagers".

The Prime Minister, who had expressed his intention to transform the country "from scam India to skill India" - alluding to the numerous corruption allegations which the previous UPA government found itself mired in and pointing towards the need to encourage entrepreneurship - is also likely to inaugurate a skill development centre based on the Public Private Partnership model.

Local BJP leaders are upbeat over the first visit of the Prime Minister, who won the Lok Sabha seat by the highest margin ever recorded for this constituency. 

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