Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in eastern Uttar Pradesh this morning. The event is an annual gathering of overseas Indians and this is the first time that it is being held in Varanasi. This is the 15th edition of the event.
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth will be the chief guest of the convention while Himanshu Gulati, a lawmaker from Norway, will be the special guest.
The BJP counts overseas Indians as a big support base for the party and PM Modi holds events with the diaspora on his foreign tours. The event has special significance this year with the national elections just a few months away.
Participants at this year's convention will also be given a tour of the Kumbh Mela that is on in Prayagraj , about 100 km from Varanasi, and also be taken to witness the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi over the weekend.
The theme of this year's convention is "role of Indian diaspora in building new India", a statement from the Prime Minister's Office said.
The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was taken by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the first event was celebrated in 2003.
(With inputs from PTI)