PM Modi to launch key corridor in Uttarakhand today
Political analysts said, the ruling BJP will once again depend on the “charisma” of PM Modi to help them win a second consecutive term in the state. The party has planned at least six more rallies of the PM, besides the one in Dehradun on Saturday, before the elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple projects, including Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor, worth around ₹18,000 crore in poll-bound Uttarakhand on Saturday, when he will also address an election rally.
“A significant focus of the visit will be on projects to improve road infrastructure, which will make travel smooth and safer and increase tourism in the region. Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor (from Eastern Peripheral Expressway Junction to Dehradun) will be built at a cost of around ₹8,300 crore,” a government press release said on Friday.
“The corridor will reduce the distance between the two cities from 235 km to 210 km and significantly reduce the travel time from Delhi to Dehradun from six hours to around 2.5 hours,” the release added.
Uttarakhand will go to assembly polls in February-March next year. Political analysts said, the ruling BJP will once again depend on the “charisma” of PM Modi to help them win a second consecutive term in the state. The party has planned at least six more rallies of the PM, besides the one in Dehradun on Saturday, before the elections.
“It seems nothing has changed since the previous assembly elections of 2017, when the BJP actually drove on the campaigning by PM Modi. His rallies in the state were a major factor for bringing the BJP into power with a heavy mandate. This time too, it seems to be the same story for the party in state,” said political analyst SMA Kazmi, who has been commenting on the state politics for the last two decades.
Following the rally in Dehradun, the PM is scheduled to hold another one on December 24, but the venue is yet to be decided by the party, which, analysts said, was waiting for the declaration of election dates by the election commission. After the two rallies, the party has also planned five more rallies of the PM in each of the five Lok Sabha constituencies — Almora, Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar, once the poll dates are announced.
“It was expected that the BJP will once again rely on PM Modi, but it was unexpected the party would plan so many rallies in a small state like Uttarakhand. This signifies that the party is not expecting the polls to be an easy one, nor are they expecting a similar mandate like that of 2017 elections, in which they won 57 out of the 70 seats,” Kazmi added.
Another political analyst Jai Singh Rawat said, “The BJP seems to be apprehensive about the capabilities of their local leaders.”
The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, took a jibe on the state BJP, saying the “central leadership of the party doesn’t trust its local leaders to deliver in the upcoming polls.”
“It is all clear that the BJP’s local leaders don’t have the confidence in themselves because they actually did nothing for the state in last four years and nine months of their tenure, except changing their CMs. Therefore, they are relying heavily on PM Modi,” said Congress national general secretary and former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat.
State BJP president Madan Kaushik refuted the allegations of Congress, saying, “PM Modi is the most popular leader of world and people want to listen to him,”
“The party has planned six more rallies of PM Modi because of his popularity among the people and his special love for Uttarakhand… The Congress just can’t digest that fact, hence it is making such allegations,” Kaushik added.
According to the government release, PM Modi on Saturday will also inaugurate seven other projects, including “the landslide mitigation project at Lambagad (en-route the Badrinath Dham) and chronic landslide treatment at Sakanidhar, Srinagar and Devprayag, a road-widening project from Devprayag to Srikot and from Brahmpuri to Kodiyala on NH-58 under Chardham road connectivity project, a 120 MW Vyasi hydroelectric project at a cost of over ₹1,700 crore, a Himalayan Culture Centre at Dehradun and a state-of-art perfumery and aroma laboratory (Centre for Aromatic Plants) in Dehradun.”