Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the tribal-dominated Dahod area of Gujarat on April 21, state BJP president CR Patil said on Wednesday. Although no official announcement has been made about the PM’s visit, party sources said he could address a rally in the region.
Coincidentally, Patil on Tuesday said that the central government had decided not to give the green light to the controversial Par-Tapi-Narmada river connection project after protests by tribals in Gujarat. Elections are to be held in the BJP-ruled state by December. Tribal leaders within the state BJP also appealed to the Center not to go ahead with the project.
Addressing BJP workers in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, Patil said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Gujarat on April 21. His first function will be held in Dahod in the morning.” He also said that the party workers would work to make it a splendid event. He later told reporters that the BJP had been in power in Gujarat for more than two and a half decades and had worked for the betterment of the tribal community.
“Because of this, they are selecting BJP candidates. When the Congress convenes a press conference in Delhi on issues related to Gujarat, the BJP workers meet for a program to organize in the tribal areas. There is a difference between the two,” he said. . He was speaking at a press conference organized by the Congress in Delhi on Wednesday on the Par-Tapi-Narmada river connection project. Congress Rajya Sabha member Shaktisinh Gohil from Gujarat and MLAs Sukhram Rathwa and Ananta Patel were present at the press conference.
On Tuesday, Patil said the Center had decided not to proceed with the Par-Tapi-Narmada project.
The decision came after a large gathering of tribals from Valsad and other parts of South Gujarat to protest against the announcement of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s project in her budget speech last month. Sitharaman further said that the central government would provide assistance for this and other river connection projects only after reaching a consensus among the states concerned.
The Par-Tapi-Narmada project plans to divert water from the surplus areas of the Western Ghats to the water-deficient areas of Saurashtra and Kutch. It has proposed seven new reservoirs in North Maharashtra and South Gujarat.
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