Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday kick-started the BJP’s election campaign in Uttarakhand, inaugurating or laying foundations of projects worth over Rs 18,000 crore and asserting a connectivity “mahayagya" is underway across the country to make up for the loss of 10 years of the previous government.
“The infrastructure projects inaugurated and founded here today are part of this ‘mahayagya’. We are doing things at double-triple speed to make up for the lost time," Modi said addressing a rally at the Parade Ground.
Uttarakhand, he said, is not only a centre of faith for the country but is also “an example of work and hardships”.
“Hence, development of this state is a priority. That is why the Centre has sanctioned projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore for the state,” Modi said.
Reiterating what he had said in Kedarnath, the prime minister noted that the projects will help make this decade that of Uttarakhand. He said the reconstruction work done at Kedarnath by his government had brought a record number of over 10 lakh devotees to the Himalayan temple in 2019.
Taking a jibe at the former UPA government and the allegations of corruption, the PM said: “At the beginning of this century, Atal ji (Bihari Vajpayee; for prime minister) started a campaign to increase connectivity in India. But after 10 years there came a government in the country which wasted valuable time of the country… of Uttarakhand. For 10 years, there were scams in the name of infrastructure. We worked twice as hard to compensate for the loss caused to the country and are doing it even today.”
He said the projects whose foundation stones were laid in Uttarakhand on Saturday cover almost all sectors, including a Delhi-Dehradun economic corridor which will reduce the duration of journey between the two cities to half, the country’s largest elevated wildlife corridor, child friendly city project and a new bridge next to Lakshman Jhoola in Rishikesh. He said the previous governments had done little for the development of Uttarakhand whereas the BJP government at the Centre had spent Rs 12,000 crore on the development of the state in the past seven and a half years.
“Uttarakhand’s development is the highest priority of the double engine government. We have sanctioned development projects worth over Rs 1 lakh crore for the state," Modi said. “The previous governments did not have this thinking. Be it in Uttarakhand or elsewhere, the previous government only thought of filling their own coffers." Modi talked about the implementation of ‘one rank, one pension’ for ex-servicemen, buying modern weapons for the armed forces and giving a fitting reply to terrorists. He also spoke about how his government had built hundreds of kilometres of border roads. Assembly polls in Uttarakhand are slated for early next year.