NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah reached Chennai on Saturday to inaugurate several projects in Tamil Nadu amid efforts by the BJP to increase the party’s footprint in the southern state.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and senior cabinet colleagues were at the airport to welcome Amit Shah.
AIADMK cadres and functionaries and BJP workers who gathered at the Chennai Airport to welcome the Union minister.
In a surprise move, the Union home minister got out of his vehicle and walked on the road to greet the supporters who had gathered at the airport. He waved his hands at the BJP and AIADMK cadres who were lined up along the road outside the airport.
Amit Shah will dedicate to the people the new water reservoir that will cater to the needs of Chennai residents as well as lay the foundation stones of several other projects, the Tamil Nadu government said.
The new reservoir built at an outlay of Rs 380 crore will be dedicated at a function at Kalaivanar Arangam here, chaired by the chief minister.
Shah will also lay the foundation stones of Phase II of Chennai Metro Rail with an outlay of Rs 61,843 crore; Rs 1,620 crore elevated expressway project in Coimbatore; expansion of Chennai Trade Centre (Rs 309 crore); Indian Oil Corporation’s petroleum terminal at Vallur (Rs 900 crore); Rs 1,400 crore lube plant; Rs 900 crore terminal at Kamarajar Port; and Rs 406 crore check dam with sluice gates across the Cauvery river in Karur district.
Amit Shah is also scheduled to meet the Tamil Nadu BJP office-bearers and cadres to galvanise them ahead of the 2021 assembly polls. His visit comes close on the heels of NDA’s electoral victory in Bihar assembly elections.
Tamil Nadu BJP unit chief L Murugan had earlier claimed that Shah’s visit will put fear in the minds of opposition parties.
His visit comes amid the reported rift between the BJP and the ruling AIADMK over the ‘Vel Yatra‘. The AIADMK government has refused permission for the yatra calling the move ‘politics of vote bank based on religion’. But the BJP has gone ahead with the programme, courting arrest wherever they have been stopped.
(With inputs from the agencies)

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