By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 10 Feb: With just a couple of days left for campaigning for the Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first physical rally in the state today.
Modi arrived at the NIT, Uttarakhand, ground in Srinagar (Pauri) to address an election meeting. Here, he began his address in Garhwali. The PM reminded that, in 2019, despite contesting the Parliamentary Election, himself, he had come to Uttarakhand because he wanted to seek the blessings of the Devbhoomi. He added that Baba Kedar had called him and he went straight to Kedarnath. He claimed he held the Devbhoomi in great reverence and bowed his head to the land of heroes like Virangana Tilu Rauteli, Madho Singh Bhandari and Panthya Dada.
The Prime Minister asserted that BJP’s Vision Document would lead to the development of Uttarakhand. He added that the vision document would play a big role in establishing the current decade as the decade of Uttarakhand. The BJP was committed to fulfilling its promises and therefore had taken great care to make promises and resolutions for the state, he added. For the development of Uttarakhand, new resolutions had been taken for the youth, women, farmers and other sections of society. Modi said that, if the desires were genuine, then Baba Kedar and Lord Badrinath would definitely fulfil them. With their blessings and the permission of the Election Commission and the weather gods, he had been able to come and speak to the people here. The people of Uttarakhand had always protected the country in vigilant manner.
Modi also remembered the late General Bipin Rawat and claimed that the memories of such a brave son of Pauri Garhwal were making him emotional. The General showed the country that the people of Uttarakhand not only had the courage of the mountains but also high thinking like Himalayas. Attacking the Congress, the Prime Minister asserted that the people of Uttarakhand would never ever forget how Congress had insulted General Rawat. He added that Congress did not respect even the armed forces of the country and questioned their operations. He reminded that he was sad and angry that Congress party had once insulted General Rawat by calling him a street goon and now, at the time of Elections, the Congress party was displaying cut-outs of General Rawat and seeking votes in his name! This was a prime example of how far one could fall because of the lust for power.
Modi reminded that it was the BJP government that had implemented the long pending demand of ‘One Rank, One Pension’ for the Services. Congress was in power for so long but kept delaying implementing One Rank One Pension and also kept on lying in this respect. It was again the BJP Government in Uttarakhand that had undertaken the construction of Military Dham in Dehradun in memory of martyrs of Uttarakhand. He further reminded that it was the BJP Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee that had taken the crucial decision of creating Uttarakhand.
Taking a dig at Congress, PM Modi said that when that party was in power, it never remembered the ‘Char Dham’. Those who did not have faith in Char Dham were now making it an issue to win the elections. Congress was capable of doing any kind of drama for power. However, for the BJP and the people of Uttarakhand, Char Dham was a matter of faith; culture and development were issues of public service.
The Prime Minister described the All Weather Road and Rishikesh-Karnaprayag Railway Line project as a big achievement for Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister said that heli-services were being started in different parts of the state. He also claimed that Uttarakhand would get huge benefit from the budget of the Union Government. The Parvatmala scheme announced in the budget for the hill districts of Uttarakhand would help create ropeway facility for movement in the hills. The border areas of the state were deliberately kept away from development by the Congress, but the BJP Government would launch its “Vibrant Scheme” for development of border areas.
Modi said that reconstruction works in Kedar Dham started in 2017 and now were mostly complete. A plan worth several hundred crores of rupees had been prepared for redevelopment of Badrinath, too. In the past five years, the double engine government had done so much work that even those who believed in applying double brakes were now forced to make similar promises, he asserted, taking another dig at the Congress. He said that when there was a Congress government at the Centre and in the state, Uttarakhand was pushed back by applying double brakes as Congress only knew how to do so. In 2014, one brake was removed when BJP came to power at the Centre and, in 2017, the second brake was also removed when BJP also came to power in Uttarakhand. As soon as the double engine government came, Uttarakhand started running on the track of rapid development, he claimed.
Prime Minister Modi said that, in the budget, many historical schemes were initiated for the farmers. Natural farming would be encouraged in Uttarakhand. The benefits of the central schemes would be available to the state. He appealed to the people not to allow people to power who did not allow central funds and plans to reach them. He appealed to the people to vote to prevent dishonesty and corruption and dynasty politics.
Earlier, the programme of the Prime Minister was proposed at the Sports Stadium in Srikot, Srinagar, but on account of distance from the helipad, the venue of the rally was changed to the NIT Ground near SSB Helipad. Former Chief Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Tirath Singh Rawat, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni and Cabinet Minister Dhan Singh Rawat were also present at the rally.