PM TO SOUND POLL BU­GLE IN HARYANA

TO LAY STONES OF MEGA PROJECTS Prime Min­is­ter will visit the land of Ma­hab­harata for launch of Swachh Shakti-2019 pro­gramme; will lay foun­da­tion of sev­eral projects via video-con­fer­enc­ing

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - News - Neeraj Mo­han neeraj.mo­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

KAR­NAL: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will sound the poll bu­gle in Haryana by kick­ing off the BJP’s elec­tion cam­paign from Ku­ruk­shetra , the land of Ma­hab­harata, on Fe­bru­ary 12.

Though the state gov­ern­ment and the dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion claimed that it is a non-political event as the PM is sched­uled to launch the Swachh Shakti-2019 pro­gramme, the visit as­sumes political sig­nif­i­cance as its comes a few months be­fore the Lok Sabha elec­tions.

On the heels of the BJP’s tri­umph in Jind by­poll and good show in May­oral elec­tions ear­lier, the PM will also lay the foun­da­tion stones of sev­eral megapro­jects in the state via video con­fer­enc­ing, in­clud­ing Pan­dit Deen­dayal Upad­hyay Med­i­cal Univer­sity at Ku­tail in Kar­nal, Na­tional Cancer In­sti­tute in Jha­j­jar, widen­ing of KaithalKar­nal road, a PG col­lege in Panchkula, a war me­mo­rial in Pa­ni­pat and Ayush Univer­sity in Ku­ruk­shetra from the rally site.

Of­fi­cials said Modi will also lay the foun­da­tion of All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (AIIMS) in Re­wari, which was an­nounced in the in­terim bud­get.

The BJP gov­ern­ment in the state is mak­ing all-out ef­forts to make the Swachh Shakti pro­gramme a mega event by en­sur­ing a huge gath­er­ing, wherein around 17,000 woman ‘Swach­hta Cham­pi­ons’, in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of pan­chay­ati raj in­sti­tu­tions across the coun­try, will be hon­oured for their out­stand­ing work in Swachh Bharat Mis­sion and mak­ing Swachh Bharat a re­al­ity.

This is the sec­ond visit of the PM in the state in the past four months. He had un­veiled a 64-ft statue of late peas­ant leader Ch­hotu Ram at his na­tive vil­lage Garhi-Sam­pla in the Jat heart­land of Ro­htak in Oc­to­ber last year. Though the pro­gramme is be­ing or­gan­ised to spread the mes­sage of clean­li­ness, political ob­servers feel it holds great political sig­nif­i­cance for the rul­ing party.

As BJP’s Ku­ruk­shetra MP Raj Ku­mar Saini has al­ready formed a sep­a­rate party, the PM’s visit in his con­stituency can lift the morale of the party work­ers and sup­port­ers, who felt ditched by Saini even as they en­sured his vic­tory by a mar­gin of 1.3 lakh votes in the last gen­eral elec­tions.

The Ku­ruk­shetra Lok Sabha seat has an elec­torate com­pris­ing OBCs, es­pe­cially Sai­nis, Ag­gar­wals, Brah­mins, Gur­jars, Pun­jabis, Sikhs and Dal­its, be­sides Jats. Hold­ing the PM’s rally here is be­ing con­sid­ered as an at­tempt to reach out to all these sec­tions of so­ci­ety.

Though Jats have the big­gest chunk of vot­ers in Ku­ruk­shetra con­stituency, Jat can­di­dates did not per­form well in the past elec­tions and the seat has been mostly rep­re­sented by Sai­nis.

3,000 COPS FOR SE­CU­RITY

The prepa­ra­tions for the event have been go­ing for the past one week and about 3,000 cops of the Haryana Po­lice and 2,000 em­ploy­ees from the state and the Cen­tre will be on duty dur­ing the pro­gramme.

Ku­ruk­shetra deputy com­mis­sioner (DC) SS Phu­lia said 25 duty mag­is­trates have been ap­pointed for the two-day pro­gramme, which would com­mence on Fe­bru­ary 11. An ex­hi­bi­tion will also be or­gan­ised to show­case var­i­ous gov­ern­ment schemes.

HT PHOTO

■ Dis­trict of­fi­cials re­view­ing the ar­range­ments at the venue for the launch of Swachh Shakti-2019 pro­gramme in Ku­ruk­shetra on Sun­day.

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