New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a public rally in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. He will be laying the foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) at Vijaypur. Keeping in view his visit, a thick blanket of security has been put in place in the state.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Ravinder Raina said the prime minister will be accorded a warm welcome upon his arrival to Jammu. “The AIIMS ground will witness a grand public rally which will be attended by around two lakh people from all walks of life. The rally will be historic and the BJP is all set for the mega rally,” he said.

PM Modi will also visit Jammu, Srinagar and Leh and will inaugurate/lay foundation stones for various development projects. He will also inspect Dal Lake in Srinagar and will interact with students from the states of Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Odisha, Maharashtra and Telangana. He will also hold an interaction with the newly elected Sarpanchs.

He will be inaugurating the University of Ladakh, the first ever university in the region. It will be a cluster university comprising of degree colleges of Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Drass and Khaltsi.

The prime minister during his day-long visit to Leh, Kashmir, and Jammu will also lay the foundation stones for inaugurate projects worth Rs 35,000 crore in Jammu and Rs 9,000 crore in Kashmir Valley.

In the wake of PM Modi’s visit to the state, K Vijay Kumar and Skandan Krishnan, advisors to the Governor, visited the site of the rally and took stock of the security arrangements done.

The state turned into a fortress on Saturday as eight companies were deployed for night patrolling to keep a close watch. All the international borders and railway stations are under tight vigil.

Briefing about the arrangements, Inspector General of Police, Jammu, MK Sinha, as quoted by PTI, said, “We have made all necessary security arrangements for the rally. We have put in place a four-tier security arrangement and roughly deployed 62 companies of forces along with 15 gazetted officers, apart from the territorial officers who are going to perform their own duties.”

Notably, this will be Modi’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the state assembly was dissolved. Last year, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had dissolved the Assembly after Peoples’ Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government along with the support of her arch-rival Omar Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) and the Congress. They had claimed the support of 56 lawmakers in the 87-member state assembly.  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 29 MLAs in the 87-member house. The National Conference has a strength of 15 MLAs and the Congress 12.

Currently, the state is under the president rule and there is an expectation that fresh elections will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls 2019.

It is to be noted here that PM Modi had last visited the state on May 19, 2018, to lay the foundation of Zojilla Tunnel project on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway which will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh.

Zojila tunnel is India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. It will cut down the time taken to cross the Zojila pass from the present three and a half hours to just fifteen minutes.

Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir through roads.

(With PTI inputs)