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Shimla to shine in Modi’s glow—celebrations to mark eight-years of BJP’s rule to kick-start at the famous Ridge

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Build up to Modi’s Parivartan Rally at the Shimla Ridge in 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen election –bound Himachal Pradesh as the ground zero for kick-starting nationwide celebrations marking the government’s eight-years in power.

The celebrations could not be held over the past two years because of the Covid Pandemic but now the preparations were already underway for the programme, which will stretch over a fortnight till June 15, said party insiders here. The final date, however, could be May 30 or 31 ,reveals informed sources in the BJP.

The event ,which will have participation of Prime Minister ,cabinet ministers ,top BJP leaders and several high-profile dignitaries, will be held at Shimla’s iconic Ridge –an open space where Modi has been a frequent visitor.

State’s Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh confirmed that the state administration has already started making arrangements for the event, and also visits of the Prime Minister and other high dignitaries.

Early this week, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had met Prime Minister Modi in Delhi and offered to host the event ,for which the BJP had already set-up  an organisation headed by BJP national general secretary Arun Singh and union minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, who hails from Himachal.

The BJP state unit is quite excited over the party’s move to host the event at Shimla ,which is expected to give a huge political mileage to the state in the wake of  assembly elections, slated by the year- end .The party victory in the four states—UP ,Uttarakhand ,Manipur and Goa ,has already  put the ruling BJP at an advantage in Himachal Pradesh –a state having not seen the return of the ruling party.

The Modi factor and BJP's focus on centrally sponsored welfare schemes for poverty sections ,economically weaker groups and Dalits are going to be major highlights of the BJP campaign in the state ,admits BJP state President Suresh Kashyap. This will be backed by Nadda's powerful presence in the state over the next four to five months.

“ The time has changed .Those who perform get a mandate to rule as people have seen in four states .We have leaders like Narendra Modi who has shown how the centre and state government work in tandem as a double engine, to also get mandated back to power. We will be forming the next government in Himachal Pradesh under Jai Ram Thakur” he declared at Kullu, where he held his third roadshow, and addressed a large public meeting .

Earlier , Prime Minister had visited Himachal Pradesh on December 27 at Mandi on completion of Jai Ram Thakur’s four year in power, and presided over a ground-breaking ceremony for investments worth Rs 28,197 crores ,besides inauguration of projects to the tune of Rs 11,000 cr .

At Kullu, Nadda made a high point as to how the Prime Minister enjoys a special bond with Himachal Pradesh and has been behind transforming the state.

“ He (PM) shares a very special emotional bond with Himachal and the state has had a very positive impact in shaping and giving direction to my life,” he said.

In 2017 state assembly elections, the BJP had swept the congress out of the power winning a record 44 seats in the 68 assembly polls due to Modi as earlier had also won all Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and 2019 with a record margin .

Modi is expected to visit Himachal Pradesh ,at least three times ahead of the polls –one of his visits relates to addressing a rally of one lakh youths in June 2022 and inauguration of AIIMS ,Bilaspur in J P Nadda’s home district .

Foundation stone for the project was laid by Modi in 2017 ahead of state assembly elections.

Modi will also have a stay at Dharamshala in June when he visits the state to inaugurate a two-day workshop of states' Chief Secretaries across . The date of the workshop has not been decided yet. The underlying idea of the BJP and state government is to cater to Kangra, the largest district of Himachal Pradesh having 15 assembly seats.

Two clear advantages ,which BJP finds in its favour ,are Nadda being party’s national President and young state politician Anurag Thakur ,a four-time MP, holding key portfolios in the union cabinet . Anurag Thakur is currently  on a three- day tour of the state.

Till Now, Nadda has paid three visits to the state ,and held road shows at Shimla, Dharamshala and Kullu to gear-up the party cadres for the elections.

Now, with BJP deciding to focus on Himachal Pradesh and hold a function to celebrate eight years, the political scenario will change drastically as neither the congress nor AAP will be able to match the BJP in terms of resources and manpower.

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