Mission Kashmir: Srinagar all decked up to welcome PM Modi

Srinagar, March 5: Summer capital city of Srinagar is all decked up to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first visit to Kashmir Valley after the abrogation of Article 370.

All senior BJP leaders of the UT have been camping in Srinagar to ensure that the public rally to be addressed by the Prime Minister at the Bakshi Stadium on March 7 is a grand event.

Welcome gates, buntings, hoardings, and flags have been put up throughout the city to give it a festive look. Roads, lanes, and streets have been cleaned and sanitized to ensure that everything is in shipshape when PM Modi arrives here.

The BJP leadership is depending on the success of the Prime Minister’s first visit to the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 to herald the party’s election campaign for the Lok Sabha in Kashmir.

There is a generally positive view about PM Modi’s visit among the common people connected with trade, travel, tourism, hospitality, small-scale industries, handicrafts, etc.

 “He has never come empty-handed to J&K. He always brought good news for the local economy whenever he came here in the past.

 “This time also, we are expecting big positive news from the Prime Minister that will cheer up everybody irrespective of any political affiliation”, said Imran Ahmad, 32, a daily wager in the Jal Shakti department who has been waiting for the last 20 years to get his services regularised. He expects some good news from the Prime Minister for his family during this visit.

Thousands of such daily-rated workers like Imran, who have given the best years of their lives to public service, have been promised regularisation by successive governments without any result.

Similarly, locals engaged in small-scale industries, handicrafts, tourism & travel, hospitality, and transport are expecting some good news from PM Modi during this visit.

The BJP leaders are positive that since separatists called strikes and bandhs, endless closures of educational institutions and business establishments have become a thing of the past after the abrogation of Article 370, PM Modi has earned respect from every Kashmiri.

“We are expecting a minimum of 10,000 people from each other district and around 20,000 from Srinagar city to attend the public rally at the Bakshi Stadium on March 7.

“We are sure that the stadium is going to fall short of capacity given the number of people who will turn out to hear the Prime Minister”, said Ashok Koul, a senior BJP leader.

Others in the party said sufficient arrangements for transport have been made to ensure smooth passage of the people at the public rally.

This will be PM Modi’s second visit to J&K in less than a month. He addressed a public gathering in Jammu on February 20 where he inaugurated/laid the foundation of developmental projects worth Rs 32,000 crore.

In Srinagar also the Prime Minister is scheduled to inaugurate/lay the foundation of developmental projects.

He will give appointment letters to some youths in addition to interacting with beneficiaries of national flagship programs in J& K and outside.

After he lands in Srinagar, the Prime Minister will go to the headquarters of the Army’s 15 corps in the Badami Bagh cantonment area of Srinagar. He will pay floral tribute at the martyrs memorial inside the headquarters.

From the Badami Bagh cantonment area, he will drive in a cavalcade to the Bakshi Stadium where the main function is scheduled to take place.

The Prime Minister’s Valley programme on March 7 is spread over one and a half hours after which he will fly back to Delhi.

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