Japanese PM, Modi to witness Ganga ‘aarti’ in Varanasi

Varanasi, Dec 11 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will witness the Ganga ‘aarti’ and a cultural extravaganza along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi here in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

After arriving at the Babatpur airport, the prime ministers will be driven to the Dashashwamedh Ghat, one of the holiest ghats in Varanasi, which is Modi’s parliamentary constituency.

A floating stage has been built by engineers of the Indian Army for the visiting dignitary who will share it with Modi and his entourage from Japan, sources said.

Abe and Modi will land by a special aircraft at the Babatpur airport in Varanasi around 4 p.m. and will be driven to the hotel Gateway in Nadesar.

They will visit the ghat around 5.45 p.m. where an international event management company has lined up a cultural extravaganza for Abe. He will also take part in the evening Ganga ‘aarti’ on the banks of the holy river, an official told IANS.

Abe will meet a select group of people, both of Indian and of Japanese origin residing in Varanasi, said to be one of the oldest city in the world.

They will fly back to Delhi late night after a banquet in which various dignitaries, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Governor Ram Naik and state ministers are likely to take part.

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