The NDA government has gone on a project launching spree in four poll-bound states — Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand — to beat the EC notification expected within a week, after which no projects can be announced or inaugurated.
By laying the foundation stones of a slew of infrastructure projects today in Jharkhand and in Mahrashtra, PM Narendra Modi is trying to send a message to the electorate that he is heading a government that works.
Why the hurry to commission mega projects?
Once the Election Commission issues the notification, which is expected within a week, the model code of conduct will come into effect, barring the government from doing anything that may influence voters in favour of the party in power. With the countdown having begun, the government is giving priority to the four states.
Why the ribbon-cutting spree?
The BJP is focussing on the assembly polls in the four states. Mega projects have traditionally been used to present the image of a government that works. The party is hoping to cash in on the Modi wave as in the Lok Sabha polls.
What and where all have projects been commissioned in the last 10 days?
In Jammu and Kashmir on August 12, he announced Rs8,000 crore for road connectivity; he inaugurated a 45MW Nimoo-Bazgo hydro-electric project and Chutak hydroelectric project in Kargil. And he laid the foundation of 330-km Srinagar-Leh transmission line at a project cost of Rs1,700 crore.
After laying the foundation stone of a national highway in Haryana on Tuesday, Modi launched highway projects in Jharkhand and Maharashtra on Thursday.
This was his second trip to Maharastra in one week. In Navi Mumbai earlier this week, while laying the foundation stones for the Rs4,000 crore port-based muti-product SEZ and the Rs1900 core Port Connectivity Highway Project, Modi said these zones could provide employment to thousands of local youths. Also last week, he inaugurated a four-lane Pune-Solapur section of the National Highway and laid foundation stone for four-laning the Solapur-Maharashtra/Karnataka border section of NH-9. In Nagpur he laid foundation of a Rs1,555-cr metro rail project and inaugurated a highway project.
In Jharkhand he inaugurated the Power Grid Corporation's Ranchi-Dharamjaygarh-Sipat inter-regional transmission line at a total cost of Rs1,600 crore and inaugurated the IOC Oil Terminal at Jasidihthat was built at a cost of Rs109 crore.
Why the special emphasis on Maharastra?
Among the states going to polls, Maharastra is the biggest and most important. The BJP is set on capturing power in the state. The state has been particularly lucky in terms of the projects it has been allotted. How long these projects will take to complete is another matter.