NEW DELHI: West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala found special mention in the Union Budget speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday as she announced a massive infrastructure package for the four poll-bound states.
Sithraman announced Rs 2.27 lakh highway projects, including infrastructure projects and welfare package for tea workers, for the four states amid approaching Assembly elections.
While the BJP has set eyes on Bengal, the party has a task to retain the power in Assam. Seen as a rank outsider, the BJP is seeking to lay grounds in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to build a base for the future.
In her budget speech, Sitharaman proposed to allocate Rs 1.03 lakh crore for 3,500 km of the national highway in Tamil Nadu and Rs 65,000 crore to build 1,100 km of the national highway in Kerala.
Sitharaman also covered the full electoral spectrum by proposing to allocate Rs 34,000 crore for 1,300 km in Assam and Rs 25,000 crore for 675 km of the national highway in West Bengal.
The miniter further sought to buoy the BJP’s electoral campaign in West Bengal and Assam by proposing to devise a scheme with an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the welfare of the tea workers in the two states.
The BJP had been nursing the tea workers in Bengal and Assam, consisting mostly of migrants and tribals, as part of the poll preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Additionally, she announced the allotment of Rs 1,957 crore for the 11.5-km-long phase-II of the Kochi Metro Rail.