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Modi to lay foundation of New Kedarpuri Township on Oct 20

Modi is likely to launch the BJP’s campaign for the next Lok Sabha polls from Kedarnath, if the township is ready by then.

dehradun Updated: Oct 10, 2017 20:35 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Dehradun,New Kedarpuri Township
The new township is being rebuilt in place of Old Kedarpuri that was washed away by the cataclysmic floods in 2013 in which hundreds of people lost their lives.(HT PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay foundation stone of New Kedarpuri Township on October 20, the ruling party said.

The new township is being rebuilt in place of Old Kedarpuri that was washed away by the cataclysmic floods in 2013 in which hundreds of people lost their lives.

Modi is likely to launch the BJP’s campaign for the next Lok Sabha polls from Kedarnath, if the township is ready by then. “Such a possibility can’t be ruled out,” BJP legislator from Rudraprayag Bharat Singh Chowdhary said when asked to comment on reports that Modi might kick off the BJP’s campaign from Kedarnath. “That is possible if New Kedarpuri Town will be completed before the next general elections due in 2019.”

There were reports that the BJP brass asked CM Trivendra Singh Rawat to rebuilt the township at the earliest. “The directions were given in view of the party’s strategy that Modi will inaugurate campaign for the Lok Sabha polls from Kedarnath,” a BJP insider said.

But Chowdhary said the elections had got nothing to do with Modi presiding over the foundation laying ceremony of New Kedarpuri.

Incidentally, the PM’s proposed visit to Kedarnath would be his second since he assumed charge in 2014. He visited Kedarnath last on May 3 to attend the ceremony to mark the reopening of the temple’s portals. President Ram Nath Kovind visited the temple on September 24.

“These frequent VVIP visits sent a clear signal that Kedarnath was a safe destination,” Chowdhary said. Some 20 lakh pilgrims have visited Kedarnath this year so far, which is a record since floods struck the shrine town in 2013.

“If New Kedarpuri town is rebuilt before the next general elections, our party will definitely benefit electorally for a number of reasons. One, it will send a clear message among lakhs of people that our governments are result-oriented. Besides, our party will benefit electorally in Uttarakhand as restoration of Kedarnath will boost religious tourism.”

Officials, however, said completing the township might not be possible before the next general elections owing to extreme terrain and inclement weather.

Admitting that weather could be a limiting factor, Chowdhary said the government’s track record of reconstruction at Kedarnath had been exemplary. “For instance, two three-tier flood protection walls have been put up along Mandakini and Saraswati rivers that flow through the shrine town,” he said. “In absence of such protection measures, Kedarnath was completely ravaged by the floods four years ago.”

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 20:34 IST