Delhi, Feb 1: With assembly elections approaching, poll-bound states found a special mention in the Budget speech by FM Nirmala Sitharaman this year.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced special infrastructure projects for the poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. During the budget presentation, she announced 3500 km of national highway works in the state of Tamil Nadu at an investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore.
The works include the Madurai-Kollam corridor and the Chittoor-Thatchur corridor. The construction will start next year. The assembly election in Tamil Nadu is due to be held in April-May this year.
FM Sitharaman also announced 1100 km of national highway works in the state of Kerala at an investment of Rs 65,000 crore, including a 600 km section of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor. She also announced 6700 km of highway work in the state of West Bengal at the cost of Rs 25,000 crore, including up-gradation of existing roads Kolkata-Siliguri.
Sitharaman informed that national highway works of Rs 19000 crore were currently in progress in the state of Assam. She said further works of Rs 34,000 crore covering more than 1300 km of national highways will be undertaken in the eastern state in the next three years. All three states too will have elections in the next few months.
Of these four states, the BJP has a presence in two — West Bengal and Assam — and wants to make inroads in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where it is in alliance with the ruling AIADMK.