Reaching out to people in flood-ravaged Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to spend Diwali in Srinagar in his second visit to the state since the Jhelum burst its banks last month leading to the state’s worst floods in a century.
"Will be in Srinagar on Diwali, 23rd October and will spend the day with our sisters & brothers affected by the unfortunate floods," Modi tweeted on Tuesday.
“Let’s share happiness and joy during this festive season,” he added in another tweet.
The Prime Minister’s move seems to be intended to soothe frayed nerves in the valley following the alleged failure of the state administration and the political class in general to provide immediate relief to the people after the floods.
Angry Kashmir residents didn’t allow politicians to visit them after the floods and, on many an occasion, booed them out of relief camps.
Being on the political margins in the valley, the BJP hopes to emerge as an alternative to established parties facing increasing disillusionment among people.
On his first visit to the state on September 7, the PM had termed the floods a “national calamity” and assured the people the “nation stands with” them.
“I want to tell the people of the region that we will do everything possible to get them out of this disaster,” he had said.
The prime minister also offered Rs 1,000 crore to the state government in addition to Rs 1,100 crore already earmarked for the disaster.
Since becoming Prime Minister in May, he has been rushing union ministers to wherever there are any accidents or natural disasters.
The BJP, which did well in Jammu in the Lok Sabha election, is working overtime to gain a foothold in the Valley. The flood-affected Kashmir Valley is important for the BJP's plan to win 44 seats in the 87-member assembly.