- Between January 8 and February 7, PM Modi launched nearly 57 projects
- Between February 8 and March 9, PM launched an unprecedented 157 projects
- Some of PM's launches appeared to be older projects re-launched as new
In the last month before the Election Commission announces the national election dates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made 28 trips across India, launching an unprecedented 157 projects, NDTV has found.
Once the election dates are declared, the election body's Model Code of Conduct will be in place, restricting the government from making major announcements.
But between February 8 and March 9, PM Modi launched a slew of projects from sections of highways, railway lines, medical colleges, hospitals, schools, gas pipelines, airports, water connections, sewage connections, power plants and many more.
In contrast, in 2014, towards the end of his second term as Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh made no visits in the month before the model code came into effect, according to a government archive of his travel itinerary.
Between January 8 and February 7, PM Modi launched nearly 57 projects; that number climbing by almost three times in the next four weeks.
The data is sourced from the website of the Prime Minister's Office as well as official announcements.
Some of PM Modi's launches appeared to be older projects re-launched as new.
For instance, earlier this month, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation a joint venture of Indo-Russian Rifles Pvt. Ltd, for a Kalashnikov Assault Rifle Production plant in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi. But according to a government press release, the plant, inaugurated in 2007, began production of carbines, rifles, and INSAS machine guns in late 2010.
In another instance, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for a sewage network at Karmalichak in Bihar on February 17. However, he had laid the foundation stone for the Karmalichak sewage treatment plant under the same project in October 2017.
Several of these projects launched - close to 140 - appeared to be too minor to merit an inauguration by the Prime Minister. For example, the inauguration of passenger service for a section of Chennai Metro, the doubling of the Chikjajur-Mayakonda section of a railway line in Karnataka, four-laning of the National Highway(NH)-45C from Vikravandi to Thanjavur and six-laning of the Karaipettai-Walajapet section of NH-4, both in Tamil Nadu.
Some launches appeared to be at municipality level, such as laying a foundation stone for the refurbishment of a gaushala (cow shelter) under the Ghaziabad Municipality, and inaugurating a 37 km sewage line, sewer facilities for 9,000 houses and so on in the same city near Delhi.
Given the shortage of time, the Prime Minister also took to remotely launching at least 17 of the projects in the last month, including an instance from Saturday, as he launched a power plant in Bihar's Buxar through a video conference from Uttar Pradesh.
Enquiries sent to the Prime Minister's Office and the Press Information Bureau were not met with a response.
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