Modi in Kedarnath, Badrinath: After a whirlwind and intense campaigning for Lok Sabha election 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Uttarakhand for a two-day trip to Kedarnath-Badrinath shrines. PM Modi reached Kedarnath at about 9.45 am today and he will offer prayers at Badrinath on Sunday before returning to New Delhi.
This is Modi’s fourth visit to Hindu holy shrine of Kedarnath since taking charge of the prime minister’s office in 2014.
PM Modi’s Kedarnath-Badrinath visit comes a day ahead of last of the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections. Voting in the last phase will be held on 59 Lok Sabha constituencies, including PM Modi’s Varanasi seat, on Sunday, May 19. Counting of votes is scheduled to be done on May 23.
Earlier, the Election Commission cleared PM Modi’s visit, which has been described as ‘official’, however, the poll panel also reminded him that the Model Code of Conduct is still in force in the country. “The visit is official so it can be undertaken. But the office of the prime minister has been reminded that the poll code is still in force,” news agency PTI quoted an Election Commission official, as saying.
PM Modi has visited the Lord Shiva shrine situated in the Himalayas in the state of Uttarakhand several times in the past. He was at the famous temple on Diwali day in November last year.
— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2019
In 2017, PM Modi had visited Kedarnath twice – in May and October – for opening and closing of the shrine’s portals respectively.
Modi had accused the previous Congress government in Uttarakhand of stopping him from carrying out reconstruction work in Kedarnath after the devastating deluge of 2013.
As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi said he had offered to take the responsibility of reconstructing areas surrounding the Kedarnath temple after massive floods killed thousands across the hilly state.
“I expressed my wish to carry out reconstruction work at Kedarnath to the then chief minister of the state who agreed in principle. In my excitement I shared the development with the media and within an hour TV channels flashed it, causing a storm in New Delhi. They (UPA government) viewed the development with a kind of alarm as they thought the Gujarat chief minister will now reach Kedarnath and mounted pressure on the then state government not to agree to my request,” PM Modi had said in 2017 while launching the redevelopment work in Kedarnath.