Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hosted French president Emmanuel Macron in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in traditional style and showcased the diverse culture of the town, considered to be sacred and the most ancient in the world.
During their day-long visit, the two leaders inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar plant in the adjoining Mirzapur district, about 300 km from the state capital.
They also took a boat ride on river Ganga besides visiting a handicraft centre in the town.
The leaders rode on a specially designed boat began from Assi Ghat to the iconic Dashashwamedh ghat.
Large crowds of people were present along the ghats and chants of “Macron-Modi” rented the air every now and then.
Traditional events were organised at each of the ghats that the two leaders passed through.
Over 120 priests recited Vedic mantras as the two dignitaries embarked on the boat for the ride.
Flags of India and France fluttered on both sides of the river.
Earlier, the French president witnessed the weaving of a woollen carpet, visited a cottage industry in Varanasi while artistes enacted scenes from ‘Ramleela’.
Modi and Macron inaugurated a 100 MW solar power plant in Mirzapur district.
The plant, which had been established at a cost of RS 650 crore, will generate 75 MW power in the first phase, the authorities said.
Modi also announced sops worth hundreds of crores for his Lok Sabha constituency.