Modi in Jammu today: PM's visit to energise BJP state unit ahead of Lok Sabha polls

The PM will launch AIIMS and the world's highest railway bridge

India Security Security personnel guard outside the Maulana Azad stadium, the venue of a Tuesday scheduled public rally by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jammu | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Jammu on Tuesday, his second visit to the erstwhile state since the abrogation of Article 370. In his much-hyped visit, the Prime Minister will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of ambitious projects worth over Rs 32,000 crore.

During his visit, the Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the AIIMS in Samba district and address a mega public rally at Maulana Azad Stadium at around 11.30 am. The AIIMS Jammu, the foundation of which was laid by Prime Minister Modi in February 2019, is being established under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.

Modi will distribute appointment orders to about 1,500 new government recruits of Jammu and Kashmir and will also interact with beneficiaries of various government schemes as part of the 'Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu' programme. 

He will also launch multiple development projects, including for education, railway, aviation, and road sectors. Besides laying the foundation stone for a new terminal building at Jammu Airport, will also flag off the first Electric Train in the valley.

The world’s highest railway bridge over Chenab will also be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. The 1.3 km-long rail bridge, located 359 metres above the Chenab, is 35 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and forms a crucial link in the 111-km Katra–Banihal stretch, which forms a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Line (USBRL) Project. He is also set to inaugurate north India’s first river rejuvenation project — the Devika River project in Udhampur. 

The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of important road projects including two packages (44.22 KM) of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway connecting Jammu to Katra; Phase two for four-laning of Srinagar Ring Road; five packages for upgrading the 161 km long Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri stretch of NH-01; and the construction of Kulgam Bypass and Pulwama bypass on NH-444. 

This visit holds particular significance as it coincides with the commencement of the BJP's Lok Sabha election campaign in the region. It is also expected to re-energise the state BJP unit. His presence will boost the party's efforts to retain the two Lok Sabha seats – Jammu and Udhampur. Both seats are strongholds of the party and lack a formidable opposition. 

Besides, the party has also set its sights on the newly crafted seat of Anantnag- Poonch. Recently, the Centre amended the ST list to include the Paharis, which BJP hopes will help it get votes in the Anantnag LS seat. 

The state unit has done everything to make the visit a momentous one. Billboards and hoardings carrying Modi's pictures and BJP flags have come up across the city, especially along the Jammu-Airport road to welcome the prime minister. "There is a huge amount of excitement on the eve of the prime minister's official visit to Jammu, with people eagerly awaiting his arrival. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have a natural connect with him,"  Union minister Jitendra Singh on Monday after reviewing the arrangements. 

Security has been heightened in Jammu and police and para-military forces are maintaining a strict vigil. 

(With inputs from Tariq Bhat) 

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