PM Narendra Modi to visit Varanasi today, set to meet agitating siksha mitras

The agitating shiksha mitras in Uttar Pradesh got a shot in the arm Thursday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreeing to meet their delegation during his scheduled visit to Varanasi Friday. The PM’s third visit to his Lok Sabha constituency after assuming office comes day after the Allahabad High Court declared Uttar Pradesh government’s move to appoint nearly 1.72 lakh shiksha mitras as assistant teachers in primary schools as illegal. The shiksha mitras have been agitating since then. In joint press conference in Varanasi, district magistrate (DM) Rajmani Yadav and SSP Jogendra Kumar said that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sent a communication Wednesday night allowing a six-member delegation of shiksha mitras to meet PM in Varanasi.
The PMO response came on a request that the Adarsh Shiksha Mitras Welfare Association (ASMWA) of UP had submitted to the district administration asking it to fix a meeting with PM. It had also given a call to its members across the state to reach the temple town on Friday. The DM appealed to the shiksha mitras to avoid creating any situation that can disturb law and order in the city. After administration informed association about the PMO decision, AMSWA president Jitendra Shahi called off protest march to Varanasi. “We will request PM to allow UP government to make amendments in Right to Education Act so that state government can regularise shiksha mitras,” Shahi said. Ahead of the PM’s visit, state government has deployed 10 police officers of SP rank, 19 ASPs, 43 circle officers, 500 sub-inspectors, 18 companies of PAC, NDRF, CRPF and RAF and Anti Terror Squads in Varanasi. The PM is likely to arrive at Babatpur airport at around 11.30am, from where he would reach the Cantonment area by a helicopter and distribute rickshaws, e-rickshaws. He will also distribute 1,000 solar lanterns to rickshaw pullers, cart pullers and street vendors . From there, PM would go to Diesel Locomotive Works from where he would inaugurate the BHU trauma centre through a remote control. He will also launch the ambitious Integrated Power Development Scheme, which aims at providing 24X7 electricity to people across the country and for which the Centre will be providing a budgetary support of about Rs 46,000 crore. He will also lay foundation stone of Varanasi Ring Road phase-1 and development of NH-56 from Varanasi to Babatpur (airport road), Chowk and Kajjapura power sub stations of Varanasi. The much-awaited visit by PM comes nearly nine months after his previous trip on December 25 last year. His two proposed tours — on June 28 and July 16 — were cancelled because of heavy rainfall.