It’s barely over a month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi last dropped by Gujarat, but he is all set to visit his home state again on Sunday evening as part of a two-day tour.
Modi will begin by holding a roadshow at Surat immediately after coming down from the BJP’s two-day National Executive meet in the Odisha capital. He will then preside over a series of events in Gujarat, which will go to the polls later this year.
BJP workers are expected to throng the public event in large numbers because it is seen as a show of strength for the BJP at Varaccha in Surat, a Patidar hub. It was here that party president Amit Shah was forced to wind up his speech in four minutes, after supporters of quota leader Hardik Patel created a ruckus.
“As the Prime Minister is arriving here for the first time after the Uttar Pradesh win, he will be given a grand welcome. People from different communities and groups will felicitate him after every 200 metres on the 11-km stretch from Surat airport to Circuit House, where the PM will stay the night,” said BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya.
As Surat is known for its textile products, the route has been decorated with sarees imprinted with the titles of various development schemes and projects. Over a hundred cutouts and a 20-foot statue of Modi, besides a 1,008-metre-long banner with welcome greetings penned by lakhs of people, have also been placed along the route.
After the roadshow, expected to be attended by 50,000 men on 25,000 motorcycles, Modi will meet BJP leaders at the Circuit House.
In an attempt to woo farmers and businessmen alike, the Prime Minister will inaugurate a Rs 400-crore hospital, a major irrigation project and a diamond factory on Monday. The hospital opening is particularly significant because it has been built by a trust funded by Patidars, a community that has been up in arms against the BJP government for two years over provision of OBC status.
The inauguration of the diamond-polishing unit will happen at the Hira Bourse SEZ in Icchapur village.
The Prime Minister will later travel to Bijapur village in Tapi district to inaugurate a cattle feed plant and an ice-cream factory belonging to the Surat District Cooperative Milk Producers Union. He is expected to address a gathering there.
Modi will then leave for Silvassa in the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, where he will address a gathering and distribute aid among beneficiaries of various schemes. His last stop is likely to be at Botad in Saurashtra to inaugurate the first phase of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (Sauni) project, after which he will lay the foundation stone for its second phase.
Modi had inaugurated the first phase of the ambitious Sauni project at Jamnagar in August last year.