The Modi government has turned its focus to the parched region of Bundelkhand spread across parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as assembly bye-elections that would decide the future of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan loom large.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the college and administration buildings of the Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University through video conferencing and interacted with students of the varsity, giving them tips to promote drip irrigation in the arid region.
Modi also read out a list of water supply projects worth Rs 10,000 crore lined up the end the water scarcity in the region. “Out of this, work on projects worth Rs 3,000 crore has already commenced in the past two months,” the prime minister said.
He added that the Centre has also allocated Rs 700 crore under the Atal Bhujal Yojana to the Bundelkhand for initiatives to raise the groundwater level in the region.
The Prime Minister also recalled how the government had worked on a war footing to repulse the locust attack in April-May, the worst in the last three decades.
Bye-election are due in Madhya Pradesh for 27 seats represented by Congress MLAs who quit in March and shifted to the BJP along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, bringing down Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s government.
BJP needs to win at least nine of the 27 seats if Chouhan wants to have a simple majority in the 230-member assembly. Of the 27 seats for which bypolls are to be held, 18 fall in the Bundelkhand-Chambal region.
Earlier this week, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had launched national highway projects worth Rs 9,400 crore in Madhya Pradesh and reiterated the government’s commitment to build the Rs 11,000 crore Chambal Expressway connecting Kota in Rajasthan and Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.