‘Aahar’ for political cold war: Modi, Naveen to visit Rourkela today

Bhubaneswar/Rourkela: Though elections have passed us by and none is in sight as of now, Rourkela has worn a look which is no less propagandistic ahead of high-profile visits of prime minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Naveen Patnaik tomorrow.

What is very obvious to the naked eye is the war of posters that have been launched against each other by both ruling BJD and BJP ahead of the visits. Billboards, banners, posters highlighting the agendas and accomplishments of each party and its leaders are now dotting the landscape of the Steel City.

However, what might not be obvious is the fact that BJD government has chosen to launch one of its biggest welfare schemes ‘Aahar’ on the day of Modi’s visit and, more importantly, in the same city. Patnaik is scheduled to launch the subsidised Rs 5 food scheme for urban poor on the premises of government hospital in Rourkela tomorrow.

The construction of vending zones for distribution of food is in full swing. Akshay Patra Foundation, which is entrusted with the task of preparation of food, has also been asked to arrange safe drinking water. The scheme aims at serving cooked food to 4,000 people in the city on regular basis.

Arguably from a political standpoint, there could not have been a better timing for the launch of the scheme by the ruling BJD which held BJP as the saboteur after Central PSUs refused to support the initiative.

So, to sum it up, though the purpose of Modi’s visit is said to be far from political, the priming seems quite close to what can be called as a political tug of war between the two ruling dispensations.