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Modi attacks Congress for ‘refusing help’ in Kedarnath reconstruction

Prime Minister lays foundation for projects to build homes for priests, local museum

india Updated: Oct 20, 2017 16:56 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
narendra modi,congress,cong vs bjp
PM Modi in Kedarnath on Friday.(ANI photo/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a disguised attack on rival Congress on Friday for not allowing his Gujarat government in 2013 to help in the reconstruction of the Kedarnath temple town, which was devastated due to flash floods in the summer.

Modi visited the shrine a day before it closes for the winter — his second visit in six months — and laid the foundation for five projects worth Rs 150 crores.

He also did the ‘Rudrabhisekh’ ritual before addressing a gathering where he thanked people for electing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly polls held earlier this year.

“As a chief minister of Gujarat I visited Uttarakhand in 2013 and offered to handle reconstruction works… Then CM and official agreed on my proposal but the government in the Centre (the Congress-led UPA government) was not okay with it and in next one hour state government bowed to pressure as well,” Modi said in a 35-minute address. The Prime Minister did not name the principal opposition party in his speech.

The works he inaugurated include construction of residence for the local priests and a museum of Adi Shankaracharya.

Modi promised the pace of the reconstruction works will be faster. The PM had visited the shrine when it opened in May this year. On Friday, he said he reached the temple shrine to send a message that it was safe for pilgrims.

“I am happy that some 4.5 lakh pilgrims reached at Kedarnath in the season and this number will certainly cross by 10 lakh in the next year”.

PM recalled his initial days when he spent time at Garur Chatti near Kedarnath in search of spirituality.

“I intended to serve baba (Kedarnath) but he perhaps had different plan for me… He possibly wanted me to serve 125 billion babas,” Modi said.

The PM mentioned flagship schemes by his government and said in 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence, it will be crucial for the country to showcase its “tremendous potential”.

He hailed the state government’s performance and asked the TS Rawat government to focus on promoting holistic healthcare and organic farming.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 12:28 IST