India: PM Modi to flag off Vande Bharat train in Kerala on April 24

The train will be Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Vishu gift’ to the southern state, says BJP


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Vande Bharat Express train. — PTI file
Vande Bharat Express train. — PTI file

Published: Wed 19 Apr 2023, 1:59 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Apr 2023, 2:00 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Kerala on April 24 for a two-day visit and attend a host of programmes including the flagging off of the much-awaited Vande Bharat Express train in Thiruvananthapuram.

The BJP state unit, which is making all arrangements to accord a grand reception to the PM, shared a poster on Facebook announcing his visit, saying the “world leader” was coming to Kerala and tens of thousands of people would take part in a huge road show in Kochi on April 24.

However, they did not specify whether the prime minister himself would take part in the road show or not, but said he would be given a grand reception at the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram when he arrives to flag off the semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express on April 25.

“It is a historic moment that Kerala is waiting for,” the BJP said, describing the Vande Bharat being allotted to Kerala as the PM’s “vishu kaineettam” (Vishu gift).

As the general elections are around the corner, with just about a year to go, the party’s propaganda machinery is doing its best to give maximum publicity to the unexpected allotment of the semi-high speed train to the state.

The BJP leaders drew parallels between Vande Bharat and the state government’s shelved Silver Line project and claimed that while the Pinarayi Vijayan government tried to bring development by evicting thousands of people, the Modi government was doing it without causing any difficulty to anyone.

PM Modi is also visiting the southern state amidst the BJP’s massive minority outreach programme which apparently has evoked a positive response from a section of priests of various Christian denominations.

The party leaders’ recent visit to Christian families and their breakfast meetings with some priests in the community are being viewed as part of their efforts to reach out to minorities ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The party believes that PM Modi’s visit would give an impetus to their ongoing campaign and kickstart the party’s propaganda for the general election.

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