In a move that is likely to provide fresh ammunition to the opposition parties, BJP has announced to give a grand welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his “first visit to Varanasi after surgical strike”. The PM would be visiting his Lok Sabha constituency on October 24 where he would be addressing a gathering after laying foundation of various projects. Prior to reaching Varanasi, PM would address a ‘Parivartan Maharally’ in Bundelkhand’s Mahoba district after launching Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
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In a statement informing about Modi’s visit, BJP state speokesperson Chandra Mohan said, “Surgical strike ke baad pahli baar Varanasi aa rahey Pradhan Mantri Modi ji ke swagat ko purey shahr ko sajaya ja raha hai (PM Modi is coming to Varanasi for the first time after the surgical strike and the entire city is being decorated to welcome him).”
He further said that the festival of lights in Varanasi will start with the arrival of Modi. Party national vice-president in-charge Om Mathur and party state president Keshav Prasad Maurya Friday visited Mahoba to review the preparations for the PM event.
Meanwhile, BJP workers have launched a cleanliness drive in Varanasi even as Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Union Minister of State for Human Resource and Development Mahendra Nath Pandey have set camp there to oversee preparations for the PM’s programme at DLW ground.
Among others, PM would lay foundation stone for the “Urja Ganga” project, aimed at providing piped natural gas (PNG) to all the households in Varanasi. He is also scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the doubling of Varanasi-Allahabad rail track and electrification of the Varanasi-Allahabad rail section and will dedicate to the nation a dual rail engine that runs on both electricity as well as diesel. The special engine has been manufactured at DLW, BJP functionaries said here.
Officials of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), who flanked Pradhan, said Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have also been invited for the foundation laying ceremony of ‘Urja Ganga’ project. Modi may also release a special stamp, dedicated to this ancient city of Varanasi during his visit.
According to ADM (Protocol), Vidya Sagar Singh, Prime Minister Modi will fly from Mahoba by a special Indian Army helicopter, which will land at the Dereka helipad around 3:55 pm.