Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a hospital, built by Patidar Samaj Arogya Trust in Katargam area of Surat, and Sumul dairy plant in Bajipura village of the district on April 17, when he is also scheduled to address the public.
Being his first visit after the victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the event is expected to set the tone for the Assembly election campaign in Gujarat.
Modi had also attended the foundation stone laying ceremony of Kiran multi super specialty hospital and research centre, which he is scheduled inaugurate, as Gujarat chief minister on October 21, 2013.
Sources said that the hospital was built on an area of 17,000sqm, provided by Surat Municipal Corporation. The trust had organised a community gathering in Varachha on October 10, 2013, to raise funds for the hospital. The Patidar community, including diamond merchants and real estate businessmen, had actively donated and Rs 250 crores were collected within a couple of hours.
Member of Patidar Samaj Arogya Trust Govind Dholakiya, who owns a top diamond firm, said: “We are happy that the Prime minister has accepted our invitation.”
The owner of Shree Ramkrishna Export added the hospital had come up at a cost of Rs 500 crore with a facility of air ambulance.
It is to be noted that the community under Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had launched an agitation in 2015, demanding OBC status. In the agitation, 12 Patidar youths had lost their lives in August that year. The impact of the agitation was maximum in Surat, where it saw political gains for Congress, and north Gujarat. Congress had increased its seat tally in Surat Municipal Corporation elections in Patidar-dominated areas as also in district panchayats.
Sources in BJP say that Modi’s visit would help harbour the community’s support back to the party. Modi last visited Gujarat on March 7 and 8 to address a women sarpanch sammellan.