In the backdrop of formal announcement to confer India’s highest civil honour Bharat Ratna to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationalist late Madan Mohan Malviya, incumbent PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Varanasi tomorrow.
The unprecedented performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent assembly polls in Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Bharat Ratna to Malviya, Varanasi’s very own icon, would provide the perfect landing pad to Modi.
Incidentally, December 25 is also the birthday of Vajpayee, who had represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha during his stint as PM.
Malviya , who would be conferred the honour posthumously, was the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) – said to be the Asia’s largest varsity.
Modi, who is scheduled to arrive from New Delhi to Varanasi by an Indian Air Force (AIF) aircraft at 900 hrs, would spend close to 5 hours in the city. He is scheduled to inspect Assi ghat on the banks of Ganga and launch a cleanliness drive.
In his last visit to Varanasi, Modi had spearheaded the cleanliness campaign in Uttar Pradesh as part of his pan-India Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He himself had picked up a spade to clear silt at Assi Ghat.
Modi had nominated Akhilesh as one of the nine personalities to anchor the sanitation campaign in UP. Others nominated included cricketer Suresh Raina and comedian Raju Srivastava.
Ever since, UP chief minister Akhilesh has reenergised state’s very own ‘Clean UP – Green UP’ mission to match Modi’s mission.
Yadav has nominated UP minister of medical, health and family welfare Ahmed Hasan to receive the PM on behalf of the state government. Hasan had officiated in the same capacity during Modi’s last visit also.
Meanwhile, state chief secretary Alok Ranjan held a video conferencing with officials to review the preparedness regarding Modi’s visit.
Modi is also scheduled to lay the foundation of inter-university centre for teacher education at BHU and lay the foundation of expansion of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) stadium.