September 18: The absence of all the four chief ministers of the
neighbouring BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,
Maharashtra and even Chhattisgarh at the grand function organized on
the occasion of the dedication of Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat on the
68th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come as a big
embarrassment to the saffron party.
Never before has such a big event of Prime Minister Modi been ignored
by any other chief minister of his own party, though Sardar Sarovar
Dam, according to the claim, is likely to benefit these states. They
would either get electricity or Narmada water.
Yet except the Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, none of his
counterpart was present on this occasion. Curiously it fell in the
period considered inauspicious by Hindus.
The leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Medha Patkar, said on the
occasion that she had written letters to all the CMs urging them not
to attend it as it was a ‘farzi lokarpan’ (fake dedication.)
She contested the claim made by prime minister that he has achieved a
great feat after 56 long years.
“No it is not the dam whose foundation was laid down by the then PM
Jawaharlal Nehru. That one was a different dam of 162 feet high…”, she
She was happy that none of the CM of the BJP ruled states took part in it.
“The drama of dedication of Sardar Sarovar Project to the nation on Prime Minister’s birthday was a complete failure. This was evident by the fact that except for Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, no otherBJP ruled state’s CM turned up unlike the announcement. About 2,000 priests from Varanasi didn’t turn up either to perform aarti despite
the announcement. We believe this is a victory of our struggle,” an NBA Press release said.
Incidentally, this is the second mega-project inaugurated by Narendra
Modi during ‘Shradhh Paksh’, which lasts till September 20.
Medha Patkar and other political observers are of the view that this
is the desperate move of Modi ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election
due in December.
Political commentator R K Mishra asked why Modi chose the inauspicious day to lay the foundation stone of Bullet train on September 14, when he is so particular about dates and timings–be it the swearing-in ceremony as the CM of Gujarat, PM of the country or kicking off the election campaign.
Three days later Modi dedicated to the nation Sardar Sarovar Dam,
though the ‘inauspicious’ period of the year it to end on September
“Perhaps PM Modi now thinks that his birthday is the most auspicious
occasion than any other day of the year,” commented a wag.