By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 5 Dec: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was yesterday in Dehradun to not only lay foundation of projects and schemes worth Rs 18,000 crore, but also to address a huge public rally to set the tone of the party’s preparations for the upcoming assembly elections. Having changed the Chief Minister mid-course not once but twice, the party understands that it would have to depend largely on the hugely popular face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure win as Congress has made a huge issue out of chief ministerial changes that the BJP had to undertake for political reasons. Unlike the speeches delivered in the recent rallies of BJP President JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi focussed more on the work of the Centre and did not target the Congress leaders of Uttarakhand in his speech. In fact, he did not mention Harish Rawat or any other Congress leader by name but concentrated on the promise that a double engine government could deliver more as compared to single engine. Mentioning that projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore had been approved for Uttarakhand by the Centre during past 5 years, he stressed that development projects would keep coming for the state and would be better implemented under a double engine government, implying that BJP ought to be ruling the Centre as well as the state in order to ensure rapid development and more and more projects. Modi was quite aggressive in his tone but made hard effort to touch the people. To begin with, he began his speech in Garhwali and spoke quite a few sentences in Garhwali and promised that under a double engine government, all efforts would be made to utilise the waters and the youth of the state for the betterment of Uttarakhand. He also recited a poem in Hindi. On the aggressive mode, he chose to target the previous Congress regimes of the Centre not of Uttarakhand and though praised the new CM Dhami, he chose not to highlight the achievements of the state government. He however chose to generously praise Dhami also to stress that he was the chief ministerial candidate for the BJP. He described Dhami as hardworking and energetic young leader. However, he spent time communicating with all the senior party leaders on stage including his former ministerial colleague Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, his current ministerial colleague Ajay Bhatt, Satpal Maharaj, Vijay Bahuguna, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Madan Kaushik as well as Teerath Singh Rawat and Harak Singh Rawat. Even while beginning his speech, he mentioned all these leaders by name. Of course Modi understands quite clearly that in a state where power has changed hands in every state poll, it will be better to focus on development issues rather than indulging in political attacks and counter attacks and therefore he combined political overtones with development in his speech. He also spoke how the proposed DelhiDehradun Economic Corridor would help the development in the state and how other development projects would help Uttarakhand become a leading state in several sectors. It may be recalled that Modi had yesterday inaugurated projects and schemes worth Rs 18,000 crores and they included, DelhiDehradun Economic Corridor – 175 kms (Cost Rs 8500 Crore), DelhiDehradun Expressway to Haridwar51 Kms (Cost Rs 2100 Crore), Dehradun-Paonta Sahib: Paonta Sahib to Ballupur Chowk- 50 KM, (Cost Rs 1,695 Crores), Manoharpur to Kangri in 4 lane 15 km Construction of Haridwar Ring Road (Cost Rs 1,560 Crore), Development of Water Supply, Road and Drainage System, Dehradun (Cost Rs 724 Crore), Medical College, Haridwar (Cost Rs 538 Crore), Development work in Badrinath Dham (Cost Rs 220 cr), road construction of 15 kms from Najibabad to Kotdwar NH-119 and Road widening of (cost Rs 108 crore), construction of 132 meter bridge on river Ganga near Laxman Jhula Setu (cost Rs 69 crore), Child Friendly City Project, Dehradun (cost Rs. 58 crore), development work in Gangotri-Yamunotri Dham (Cost Rs 54 crore). In addition, Modi also inaugurated some important projects that include Vyasi Hydropower project, Laboratory for Aromatic and perfumery in Dehradun etc.