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Amid protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reached Chennai to inaugurate the Defence Expo 2018.
He reached Chennai airport in an Indian Air Force plane and took a chopper to Defence Expo venue near Mahabalipuram, 45 kms from the state capital.
The Prime Minister was received by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The two-lane highway East Coast Road has completely shut an hour ahead of Modi's visit to keep protesters at bay.
To participate in another event, the Prime Minister will take the helicopter to avoid a drive from Mahabalipuram to Chennai and land at the helipad constructed inside the IIT Madras campus to attend a function in the adjoining Adyar Cancer Institute. On his return, Modi will once again fly within the city from the IIT campus to the airport, a distance of 10 kilometres.
These developments came at the backdrop of various parties and organizations blocking the roads and showing black flag to the Prime Minister. These parties include the main opposition DMK and its partners Congress and others.
For weeks now, Tamil Nadu state has seen protests and bandhs by political parties, pro-Tamil outfits, voluntary organisations and the film fraternity over the delay in setting up the Cauvery Management Board, an independent regulatory body that will implement sharing of the Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala.