Karaikkudi ready to receive Sonia

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Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, Apr 5 (UNI) Hours ahead of the arrival of UPA Chairperson and AICC Supremo Sonia Gandhi, the heritage town of Karaikudi also known as the 'Capital of Chettinad' wore a festive look with hundreds of illuminated archs, huge cutouts and banners erected all over the town.

Mrs Gandhi would dedicate a new auditorium constructed at a cost of Rs three crore at the famous Alagappa University in Karaikudi, by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in memory of his father.

She will also address a mammoth Farmers Conference in the evening, organised to felicitate the UPA Government for the massive farm loan waiver, to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore.

Official sources said a special helipad was erected at the Alagappa University, in connection with Mrs Gandhi arrival, expected at 1500 hrs.

A galaxy of Central and State Ministers, including G K Vasan, E V K S Elangovan and senior Congress leaders would attend the function.

A large number of Congress partymen were pouring into the town from various parts of the state to take part in the programmes.

Mr Chidambaram, who represents Sivaganga Constituency was personally supervising the arrangements, as it is her first visit to the Karaikudi.

An unprecedented security cover was thrown over the Karaikudi town and elsewhere in the Southern districts. The state police had deployed about 1,000 policemen, including Swift Action Force and Tamil Nadu Special Police and Armed Reserve police under the direct supervision of Inspector General of Police (South Zone) Sanjeev Kumar.

Armed police men have been posted at vulnerable points and high-rise buildings along the route to be taken by Mrs Gandhi.

Anti-sabotage checks have been carried out by the State Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and police teams in coordination with the Central intelligence agencies.

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