For thousands of people living in areas between Mau and Tarighat in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to bring what none of his predecessors, including Jawaharlal Nehru, could — a railway bridge over the Ganga.
Talk about the politics of symbolism: Modi will lay the foundation stone of the bridge in Ghazipur on November 14 — Nehru’s birth anniversary.
People have been demanding this bridge for over half a century. Vishwanath Singh Gahmari, a member of the third Lok Sabha, first raised in 1962 the issue of backwardness of poorvanchal region, prompting then Nehru government to set up a fact-finding panel.
Among other things, the commission recommended this bridge to boost economic activities and regional connectivity. The cabinet committee on economic affairs, headed by Modi, cleared the project in June and tenders have been invited.
“Development is our plank. This lone issue reflects out seriousness and commitment,” a BJP leader said.
Aiming to win next year’s assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is taking out ‘parivartan yatras’ from the four corners of the state that will culminate in Lucknow on December 24. “Poorna bahumat, sampoorna vikas; Bhajpa par hai vishwas (Clear majority, comprehensive development; we have faith on BJP)” is the slogan for these yatras.
BJP chief Amit Shah flagged off one such yatra from Saharanpur on November 5, taking a dig at the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party for under development of the state. During the 50-day yatra, PM Modi will address rallies in Ghazipur, Kushinagar, Agra, Muradabad, Bareilly, Kanpur and Lucknow. Home minister Rajnath Singh, BJP’s last chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, and BJP chief Amit Shah, too, will address public meetings during this period.