Meet PM Modi's Back-up in Varanasi - Lawmaker CR Patil

Meet PM Modi's Back-up in Varanasi - Lawmaker CR Patil

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In place of garbage dumps in Varanasi, CR Patil has built roundabouts and installed statues.

Jayapura, Varanasi:  When your local lawmaker is the Prime Minister himself, there is a chance that with the problems of the country on his shoulders, he may not be able to tackle the mundane but pressing things -- like the road in front of your house, or the hand pump that never gets fixed.

That's where a proxy helps. But unlike other busy lawmakers, who put a team in place to look after their constituencies, only one man is standing in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi - CR Patil, the lawmaker from Gujarat's Navsari.

Since October, Mr Patil has been spending up to a fortnight every month in Varanasi, overseeing the Modi message and bringing the Gujarat model of development to Uttar Pradesh.

In place of Varanasi's garbage dumps, he has now installed statues of Kabir and built a roundabout; for those carrying corpses and unable to negotiate traffic, he has introduced boats at Manikarnika ghat called "Jalvahinis".  This project was in fact, launched by Union minister Arun Jaitley.

He has also put in interlocking tiles in Jayapura village, the PM's model village, and helped build toilets there.

One BJP worker said Mr Patil had taken an album of his work at his own constituency and showed it to PMO as a template for what he could achieve in Varanasi.

District authorities say Mr Patil has already spent more than Rs 5 crore in the constituency over and above the MPLADS funds of PM Modi. And he had even sourced it himself.

"I can't spend my MPLADs funds here," Mr Patil explained to NDTV, "So we organise all the people who want to help and let them spend the money."

The MPLADS, special funds granted to lawmakers, is meant only to be spent for work in their own constituency.

But at a time when MPs get criticised for not doing enough for their own constituencies, many marvel at how Mr Patil can look after two.

"My area is settled already," said the two-time lawmaker. "So I can now focus on Varanasi. We have changed the look of Surat and will do the same here."

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