It is not only his foreign visits that have kept Prime Minister Narendra Modi away from his constituency Varanasi for nine month! Blame it on the weather, which again is suspected to do its job.
But in case the clouds forming over eastern UP do decide to relent, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet 40 delegations in about 90 minutes this afternoon.
He had to cancel trips twice this year because of heavy rain. On June 28, the proposed venue of a public address by the PM had filled up with water in torrential rain. Less than 20 days later, on July 16, his trip had to be cancelled again.
Today, the PM is expected to launch a clutch of road and power projects including a ring road that is expected to ease the congestion in the city, and also inaugurate a trauma centre at the Banaras Hindu University that he could not do in July.
The visit comes a day after PM Modi’s birthday and his supporters in Varanasi plan to gift him with a “Swachh (clean) Kashi.” With the PM in his 66th year, the BJP supporters plan to distribute 660 dustbins to boatmen who ferry pilgrims and tourists across the river Ganga.
They also plan to give away 6600 “hygiene kits” with toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc. to daily wagers in the city. The Swachh Bharat or Clean India mission is very close to the PM’s heart.
PM Modi’s visit is expected to find political resonance a little over 100 km from Varanasi in Bihar, where assembly elections will be held from mid-October. The Prime Minister is leading the BJP’s campaign against the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Yadav- Congress alliance.
There is more than usual security in Varanasi today on account of thousands of protesting teachers on contract reaching the city to try and meet the PM.