Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of a “double engine” for the state’s development has proved to be a non-starter, and urged him to use “some special fuel” to propel growth.
Taking a dig at Modi’s pre-poll promise, Rawat said he should do something during his visit to Kedarnath on Friday to ensure the “much vaunted double engine” chugs on in the state.
At a rally in Dehradun before the assembly elections in February, Modi had said that a “double engine” government with the BJP at the Centre and in Uttarakhand alone could pull the state out of the pit of corruption and lack of development.
The BJP won the February election and made Trivendra Singh Rawat the chief minister of the state. “The BJP’s much publicised double engine government in Uttarakhand is a non-starter. It has not moved even an inch forward. All it has done so far is rev up and emit smoke.
“I would request the prime minister to bring some special fuel from Delhi during his Kedarnath visit which makes the double engine chug on,” Rawat told reporters here.
Terming yesterday’s Gurdaspur bypoll result a pointer to a major change in the offing, he said it indicated that people have begun to compare what was promised to them and what was delivered. Congress won the Gurdaspur bypoll, defeating BJP with a huge margin. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came a distant third.
“Hollow claims not translated into reality will cost the government heavily. Gurdaspur result shows people have begun to compare what was promised to them and what was actually delivered before giving their verdict. It augurs well for our democracy,” Rawat said. He said the bypoll verdict was a message for governments which talk big.
“I hope our party workers will make the most of this message. I hope Gurdaspur becomes the Azamgarh of 1978 which heralded the resurgence of the Congress party,” Rawat said.
He said the state government had not moved on in Kedarnath from where the dispensation he headed had left off.
“No new reconstruction initiative has been taken in Kedarnath. Things still stand where we left off,” the former chief minister said. “Chief Minister (Trivendra Singh Rawat) keeps talking about laying railway tracks up to Gangotri and Yamunotri but the fact was far from that,” Rawat said.
Sharing his experience of a recent visit to Kedarnath, he said that a market – which covers a five-km stretch from Agastyamuni enroute to the Himalayan shrine – looked deserted. “The roads are poor. How will pilgrims come?” Rawat said Modi should give Rs 3,000 crore out of a package of Rs 8,000 announced by the Congress-led previous UPA government for reconstruction in Kedarnath.
Modi is to visit Kedarnath a day after Diwali. He is likely to inaugurate a number of projects, including a temple protection wall that would save the shrine from tragedies like the one which befell it in 2013.