In poll-bound Gujarat, CM makes way for PM Modi

In view of the PM’s visit, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was scheduled to inaugurate the projects at a mega event on Sunday, called off his visit to the city on Saturday.

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara | Published: October 15, 2017 3:25 am
Gujarat, Gujarat elections, Vijay Rupani, Narendra Modi, Gujarati New Year, india news, indian express news Vadnagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated at a public meeting in his hometown Vadnagar on Sunday. Union Health Minister J P Nadda and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani are also seen. PTI Photo (PTI10_8_2017_000104B)

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi will visit Gujarat once again on October 23 — two days before Labh Pancham, the auspicious day after the Gujarati New Year when businesses reopen — to inaugurate development projects worth Rs 780 crore in Vadodara.

In view of the PM’s visit, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was scheduled to inaugurate the projects at a mega event on Sunday, called off his visit to the city on Saturday.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had released his official itinerary to the district collector and the commissioner of police, while the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) had called in its officers on their official day off on Saturday “to prepare for an event on Sunday to be graced by the chief minister.” During the day, however, the Prime Minister’s Office intimated to the CMO about Modi’s visit, leading to Rupani’s cancellation.

“We were preparing for an event on Sunday, in which, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was to be present. The event has been called off in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on October 23. The VMC’s projects will now be inaugurated by the Prime Minister,” said Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Vinod Rao.

In view of the changed itinerary, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation has convened a fresh standing committee meeting on Tuesday to clear additional projects worth Rs 250 crore, which the Prime Minister is expected to announce at his October 23 event.

The civic body has been on an overdrive, sanctioning a host of projects before the Model Code of Conduct is declared for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. Besides its approval for Rs 780-crore projects, the VMC’s standing committee had on Friday approved civic projects worth Rs 300 crore. “We have been asked to ensure that all the paperwork for the approved projects are cleared by Monday so that work orders can be handed out for the Rs 300-crore projects. We are also ensuring that papers are ready for projects proposed before the Committee that meets on Tuesday,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.

Among the projects Modi is set to inaugurate is the foundation stone laying ceremony of the much-hyped ‘Jan Mahal,’ the transportation hub that had been mired in litigation, but which is now set to be built under the Smart City project.

The Prime Minister is also expected to announce a mega flyover project worth a whopping Rs 222 crore, which is among the 11 new proposals expected to come up before the VMC’s standing committee on Tuesday.

The other “announcements” that will be part of the VMC’s event on October 23, in the presence of the prime minister, is the development of 100 new gardens, installation of an open gym and playing areas worth Rs 2.3 crore and a nature-cum-safari park at Ajwa.

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