Punjab is prepping up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on January 5 ahead of Assembly polls scheduled to be held early this year. PM Modi will also address his first rally in the state after repealing the three farm laws, besides launching developmental projects worth Rs 42,750 Cr in the state the same day.
Upon his visit, PM Modi will lay the foundation stone for Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway. The expressway is aimed to reduce the travel time between Delhi-Amritsar and Delhi-Katra. The 669 km long Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will be developed at a total cost of about Rs 39,500 Cr. The Greenfield Expressway will connect key religious sites like Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarn Taran and Vaishno Devi in Katra. The expressway will also connect key economic centres like Ambala, Chandigarh, Mohali, Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana. Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Kathua and Samba.
This would be PM’s first visit to the state since farm ordinances were issued and protests started on June 5, 2020. The protests were called off after the Centre repealed the three farm laws in December.
Besides the expressway, the PM will flag off several other projects including four laning of Amritsar-Una section, Mukerian-Talwara new broad gauge railway line of around 27 km in length, to be built at a cost of over Rs 410 Cr. This railway line will be an all weather means of transport in the area. It will also serve as an alternative route to Jammu and Kashmir, joining the existing Jalandhar-Jammu Railway line at Mukerian. This project is also expected to boost tourism in the region and provide ease of connectivity to the hill stations.
While talking to The New Indian, Jeevan Gupta, state General Secretary of BJP said, “Punjab stands at a new dawn in 2022. The State will give a rousing welcome to the Prime Minister on January 5, and the BJP will form the next government in the state.”
He further said that PM Modi will address a rally in Ferozepur and it is the first visit of the Prime Minister after nearly two years. The PM will also inaugurate a 400 hundred bed hospital, being made at a cost of Rs 450 crore.
The PM will also lay the foundation stone of new medical infrastructure in three towns of Punjab. The 100 bedded PGI Satellite Centre cost more than Rs 490 Cr. The satellite centre will provide world class medical facilities at Ferozepur and the nearby areas.
Two medical colleges at Kapurthala & Hoshiarpur are also in the list of projects to be inaugurated in Punjab during PM’s visit. Developing these two medical colleges would cost around Rs 325 Cr each.
Meanwhile, even as the preparations are in full swing for the PM’s first visit, nine farmers’ unions have vowed to protest against the visit. Keeping this his mind, the police have increased vigilance in the area.
PM Modi will visit three venues in Ferozepur on January 5 — the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, foundation stone laying of PGI satellite centre and the rally venue. Punjab Police and BSF will be forming a multi-layered security with sharp shooters deployed at vital positions at the three venues where PM Modi is expected to visit.
As the international border is quite close from Ferozepur, the Punjab Police will fly its own security drone cameras before the PM’s arrival, sniffer dogs will also be used.
Police advised people not to carry any electronic gadgets other than mobile phones while attending the PM’s rally. Jammers will be installed at the venue site till Modi remains at the rally site.
Amidst the announcements of the third wave of Corona in India and hectic political activity, the question remains, would Modi’s bid to woo voters with developmental projects be enough for BJP to defeat Congress and AAP in Punjab?
Seven states are scheduled to go to polls in 2022 and five of them in the first quarter of the calendar.