Kedarnath: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Congress party for rejecting his proposal in June 2013 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat for redevelopment of the Uttarakhand shrine that was badly damaged in the massive flash flood.
Referring to the devastating 2013 flash floods in the state, Modi said “I came here to do all that I could for the victims… I had met the then Chief Minister (Vijay Bahuguna) and the state government officials and offered that Gujarat would redevelop Kedarnath. During the meeting they agreed. And I announced it outside in the media.
“But when the news was flashed on television, and it reached Delhi, the people there (UPA government) panicked and within hours the state government was pressurised to announce that it will redevelop Kedarnath itself,” Modi alleged.
Modi said after the BJP government came to power in Uttarakhand earlier this year “I understood that the work of Kedaranath redevelopment will be done by us”.
In June 2013, then Chief Minister Bahuguna and the Congress party had rebuffed Modi’s offer for redevelopment of Kedarnath and his Rs 3 crore cheque, which was in addition to a Rs 2 crore his state had donated for rain disaster relief.
The Congress and other parties had criticised Modi for trying to be the “Rambo” of rescue. The Congress had alleged he was trying to communalise a natural calamity.
Modi, speaking about the work being done in Kedarnath, said: “Through the work we are doing we want to show what an ideal ‘Tirth Kshetra’ (pilgrim centre) should be like, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the wellbeing of the priests should be given importance.”
After offering prayers at the Kedarnath temple, Modi also said the BJP is trying to develop the Himalayan shrine into an ideal pilgrim centre with quality infrastructure.
“We are building quality infrastructure in Kedarnath. It will be modern but the traditional ethos will be preserved. We will ensure the environment is not damaged,” Modi said, adding it would also be developed as a site for adventure sports and to showcase the natural beauty of the area.
He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a slew of reconstruction projects in Kedarpuri, including renovation of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s tomb which was damaged in the floods.