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"When the previous government decided to construct rail factory here, it was decided that 5,000 workers will be hired. But half of these posts were approved," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his visit to the Modern Coach Factory.
In 2014, not a single new appointment was made at the factory, "But today, nearly 2,000 workers have been appointed by our government," PM Modi said, flagging off the 900th coach and a Humsafar Rake of this factory. He is expected to inaugurate projects worth Rs 1,100 crore during the visit.
Later, he will visit Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad, to review preparations for the Kumbh Mela that will be held in the city next year. The prime minister will open a state-of-the-art command and control centre at the Kumbh Mela.
The prime minister's visit is being seen as a BJP strategy to take on the Congress in its backyard. The visit was planned before the counting of votes on December 11 for the current set of assembly elections in five states, in which the BJP suffered a serious setback.
Union minister Arun Jaitley recently spent his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme or MPLAD funds on developmental works in the constituency.
During last year's assembly elections, the BJP caused huge dents in the Congress bastions -- Raebareli and neighbouring Amethi, the constituency of Rahul Gandhi. The party won two of the five assembly seats under the Raebareli parliamentary constituency. In Amethi, it won four of the five seats.
Sonia Gandhi has not visited Raebareli since April this year. It was her first visit since mid-2016. She had fallen ill during a roadshow in Varanasi in August that year and did not return, even for the campaign during last year's assembly elections in the state.
The Congress has accused PM Modi's government of derailing the development of Raebareli.
In November 2012, Sonia Gandhi had opened modern Rs 1,685-crore rail coach manufacturing factory. The project was commissioned during the UPA government, a few weeks after the Congress got the Railway Ministry back. The portfolio was held by the Trinamool Congress before it pulled out of the UPA in September that year.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited Raebareli on Thursday to inspect the preparations for the visit. He also took a tour of the Rail Coach Factory.