PM Modi landed at Chennai airport at 9.35 am amidst a sea of protests over central government's failure for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). Since the government is nearly the only buyer, you need the government to grant an order. These will utilise defence manufacturing ecosystems in the regions and further build upon it.
"The defence corridors will become engines of economic development and growth of defence industrial base", he said.
"In May 2014, the total number of defence export permission granted stood at 118, for a total value of 577 million dollars. Now we want to express our disappointment by going on a fast led by Prime Minister", said a senior BJP leader who will also observe fast on Thursday.
Recalling the legacy of Indian armed forces and their services across the world, he said his government has made significant progress in defence manufacturing as well. Our commitment to peace is as strong as to protect our people and territory.
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India is an emerging defence manufacturing hub, says the PM in Thiruvidanthai. "Not now, not anymore, never again", he said, in the presence of top executives of foreign as well as domestic defence firms. He started his address with the praising and admiring of the Cholas' land. The Chennai police also blocked a van carrying black balloons, which protesters planned to release in the air as Modi flew to the scheduled events on a helicopter. Many say that he did so because he wasn't bold enough to face the people of Tamil Nadu on the streets.
"If they are so helpless and weak then they should give up their posts and take retirement", he said, adding: "This is not time for the PM to sit on fast, this is time for his retirement".
The Prime Minister arrives at the venue of the Defence Expo2018 in Mahabalipuram.
The BJP has blamed the Congress and Sonia Gandhi for the disruptions which meant that the Budget Session of Parliament was a lost cause.
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Protests were also held with black flags and placards throughout Tamil Nadu in cities like Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tuticorin against the Prime Minister's brief visit to the state. Holding black flags, protesters assembled near the airport in Alandur area.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu will be observing fast with PM Modi in the national capital.
Members of the Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) were detained as they tried to enter the airport and climbed on hoardings.
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