New Delhi, Oct 20: Hours after spending his Diwali with Army soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez  sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Kedarnath in Uttarakhand today morning to offer prayers at the famous shrine. The Prime Minister also laid foundation stones of several redevelopment projects in the temple town which suffered extensive damage 2013 flash flood. Also Read - Ahead of West Bengal Assembly Polls, PM Modi to Address Rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Ground Today

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Addressing a public gathering after participating in special prayers a day before the portals of the Himalayan shrine closes for the winters, PM Modi said he is visiting Kedarnath with a pledge to realise the dream of a developed India by 2022. Also Read - Breaking News Updates: After BJP, Now Congress Releases First List of 13 Candidates For Bengal Polls

“The floods of 2013 had made all of us extremely sad. That time I was not the Prime Minister, I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. I came here to do all that I could for victims.
Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva. From this holy land of Kedarnath, I seek the blessings of Bhole Baba and pledge to devote myself fully to realising the dream of a developed India by the time we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022,” PM Modi said.

“I am happy to be in Kedarnath, a day after Diwali. Today, Gujaratis are celebrating the start of a New Year. I convey my greetings to everyone around the world who mark the start of Nutan Varsh,” he added. (Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Visits Kedarnath – Top Quotes)

Donning a rudraksha mala and head smeared in ‘holy’ yellow-coloured sandal powder, PM Modi vowed to redevelop Kedarnath and Uttarakhand,which has  a BJP government, in to a popular tourist destination.

The PM also laid the foundation stones for a slew of reconstruction projects in Kedarpuri, including renovation of Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s tomb which was devastated in the catastrophic flash floods of 2013.

“Through the work we are doing in Kedarnath, we want to show how an ideal ‘Tirth Kshetra’ should be, how it should be pilgrim friendly and the well being of the priests should be given importance. We are building quality infrastructure in Kedarnath. It will be modern but the traditional ethos will be preserved. We will ensure the environment is not damaged,” he said.

“The Himalayas have so much to offer- for spiritual pursuits, for the nature lover, for those interested in adventure, water sports. I invite everyone to come and explore the Himalayas,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi Slams Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took the opportunity to slam the Congress for playing politics when the region was devastated by floods in 2013.

“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. Those sitting in Delhi couldn’t handle that Gujarat CM is announcing help for Uttarakhand. The state government was under pressure… and was forced to announce they don’t need help from me,” he said.