Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed the former UPA government for stopping him as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from carrying out reconstruction of the Kedarnath shrine after the 2013 flash floods, the then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna averred that circumstances forced him to reject Prime Minister's proposition.
Uttarakhand Governor Krishna Kant Paul, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kedarnath Dham at Rudraprayag. Earlier on May 3, the Prime Minister had offered prayers and performed a "rudrabhishek" in the sanctum of the centuries old shrine.
"They (opposition) created a furore when it was reported in the media that I was ready to take the ownership of Kedarpuri after the tragedy". He added that People from different states had perished and he could not stop himself from rushing to the state after the disaster.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spelt out the enormous possibilities that the Himalayas offer across sectors including the health sector and what the government was doing to maximise these benefits.
"I went back disappointed".
That the BJP was voted to power in Uttarakhand was another sign that he was "chosen" for the reconstruction work at Kedarnath, Modi said.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stones for five reconstruction and development projects in Kedarnath including renovation of Adi Shankaracharya's samadhi which was devastated in the catastrophic flash floods of 2013.
He described the projects as ambitious and expensive, but said there would be no dearth of funds to ensure their time-bound completion. We are building quality infrastructure in Kedarnath.
Asking people to make Uttarakhand a favourite destination for tourists, he said the State should aspire to become an organic one by 2022, when India marks 75 years of Independence.
"My request for rebuilding Kedarnath created a storm in Delhi and the Uttarakhand Chief Minister had to decline the help we had offered", Modi said. An approach road would be constructed to the temple to create a "divya vatavaran (divine environment)", the lighting of the road leading to the temple would be done accordingly, he said.
"Some acquaintances I met today reminded me of my time spent in Garurchatti. But Baba perhaps willed it differently", he said.