Modi to visit Punjab on Friday

Chandigarh, Nov 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Punjab on Friday and will lay the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda, Punjab government officials said here on Thursday.

Modi would first arrive on Friday afternoon in the Sikh religious town of Anandpur Sahib and will attend a function to mark the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh master.

Anandpur Sahib, which is famous for Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the second holiest of Sikh shrines after Amritsar’s Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple, is about 85 km from here.

The ‘Khalsa Panth’, the present-day Sikh religion, was founded here by Guru Gobind Singh on April 13, 1699.

Modi would then go to Bathinda in south-west Punjab where he will lay the foundation stone of the 750-bed AIIMS.

He is also scheduled to address a public rally in Bathinda.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is the Lok Sabha member from Bathinda constituency, would be present during the Prime Minister’s visit.

“Tight security arrangements have been made at both places. Around 10,000 security personnel have been deployed to ensure foolproof security at both locations,” a Punjab Police officer told IANS here.

With assembly elections likely to be held in Punjab early next year, Modi’s visit has political and electoral significance for Punjab’s ruling alliance of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The alliance has been in power in Punjab since 2007.