Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Varanasi on Thursday and inaugurates 22 development projects in the holy city worth more than Rs 870 crore. The PM will lay foundation stones for a biogas-based power plant at the Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Plant in Ramnagar. The Bureau of Indian Standards has developed a logo for the milk conformity assessment scheme in association with the National Dairy Development Board. Modi will also virtually distribute rural residential rights records under the Swamitva Scheme.

The Prime Minister visited the holy city on Good Governance Day in 2014 and also took part in a cleanliness drive near Assi Ghat. He described Kashi as the land of education and added that the city was becoming an integrated medical centre in the Purvanchal region. The city’s unique holistic learning institutes have received recognition across the country. The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister lauded the initiative, which is a laudable move for the city.

BJP’s ally in Varanasi

Neelkanth Tiwari, BJP’s ally in Varananasi, won a seat in the South Assembly constituency in the recent elections. Seven-time MLA Shyamdeo Roy Chowdhury was denied the BJP ticket in the city. Saurabh Srivastava won by more than 60,000 votes. Saurabh Srivastava is the son of former state minister Harish Chandra Srivastava and has alternately represented Varanasi’s Cantt seat and Rohaniya seat.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary, and Rahul Gandhi addressed election meetings in the city. Meanwhile, BSP supremo Mayawati also made an appearance at the city’s election rally. While the BJP was highlighting issues such as forced migration and law and order problems, the SP and Akhilesh Yadav took aim at the BJP-ruled state government and its agri-law agitation.

BJP’s ally in Varananasi, the regional party led by Om Prakash Rajbhar, and the BJP’s ally in the Poorvanchal region, squabbled with the SP. The BJP, meanwhile, hopes to continue dominance in the state and expand its power base in the district. The Samajwadi Party is also dependent on the mood of backward communities in Azamgarh, the capital city of UP.

Neelkanth Tiwari’s unapproachability

In the last Assembly election, Neelkanth Tiwari has come under fire for his lack of approachability in the constituency. As a BJP minister, he has a strong support base in Varanasi. He has fought the last election with a low-key style, despite being an ardent devotee of PM Modi. But the voters are not happy with Tiwari.

During his visit to Varanasi, Gandhi met a group of youth and spoke at public meetings. He then went on to visit towns like Motihari, Panamanna, Paganeri, Sivaganga, and Panapur. He also addressed public gatherings in Balasore, Koripira, and Puri. During his tour, Gandhi also visited several places, including the Poly in Srirangam and the Leper Asylum in Sambalpur.

Khadi sales on an upswing in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted khadi in India. Khadi sales have doubled in the last year and credit-linked capital subsidies are helping the sector. The government has also implemented the Kaushal Vikas Yojana for the empowerment of thousands of youth. The state-run Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has also expanded their operations.

PM Modi recently ordered the administration to provide medical aid to the rural population. The administration in Varanasi distributed 70,000 medical kits to the state’s villages. Healthcare workers at primary and secondary dispensaries were trained in the use of testing paraphernalia. The number of distress calls from rural areas decreased from more than 800 a day to less than 100 a day in the local Command and Control Centre. The city is experiencing a revival in Khadi sales, as the local community shows interest in this traditional and time-honored product.

The Prime Minister visited Varanasi in 2014 on Good Governance Day. In the midst of a clean-up campaign at Jagannath Gali near Assi Ghat, he spoke about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation in bringing prosperity to the city. Modi’s emissary, AK Sharma, has also set up a 24×7 Command and Control room to monitor the situation in Varanasi.

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