Modi puts on Uttarakhandi cap during R Day function, strikes emotional chord with hill state

By PTI

DEHRADUN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday struck an emotional chord with the people of poll-bound Uttarakhand by wearing an Uttarakhandi cap at the Republic Day function in Delhi.

Manufactured at SOHAM Himalayan Centre, Mussoorie, the cap worn by Modi remained the talk of the town throughout the day with political leaders interpreting it as a warm gesture of the Prime Minister to the people of the state which goes to polls on February 14.

SOHAM Himalayan Centre preserves and promotes Uttarakhand’s Himalayan heritage, culture and ethnicity.

“We are grateful to the Prime Minister. By wearing an Uttarakhandi cap at Rajpath he has honoured every citizen of the state. It is a proud moment for every Uttarakhandi,” Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said.

Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi also thanked the Prime Minister for honouring Uttarakhand’s cultural identity by wearing the cap.

“This is the reason why Modi ji lives in the hearts of the people of Uttarakhand.

It also shows that vocal for local is not just a slogan for the Prime Minister but a commitment,” Joshi said.

He also congratulated Samir and his entire team of artisans at Soham Himalayan Centre for making the cap.

Political commentators said such emotional gestures do produce an impact on the voters but the problem is all parties are doing it.

“With the corona curbs still in place, large rallies are not being held.

Maybe the Prime Minister is trying to make up for that through this kind of symbolism.

But then all political parties are doing that to add a sentimental quotient to their campaign,” political observer Jaisingh Rawat said.

Citing the example of a function held at a local hotel on Tuesday to launch “Char Dham Char Kam” campaign of the Congress party, he said all Congress leaders including Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, party campaign head Harish Rawat, senior party leader Mohan Prakash and PCC president Ganesh Godiyal were wearing the Uttarakhandi cap.

“In a situation like this, it will have to be seen which party’s gesture touches more hearts,” Rawat said.

“Modi never misses an opportunity to strike an emotional chord with people.

He always begins his speech at the rallies in the local dialect, be it in Himachal Pradesh or the Kumaon or Garhwal regions of Uttarakhand,” he said.

The state’s Congress party leaders, however, dismissed the PM’s gesture of wearing the Uttrakhandi cap during the Republic Day function at Rajpath as “just a poll gimmick”.

“He had grown a long beard during West Bengal assembly elections but after the polls the beard went missing,” Once the polls are over here, people of Uttarakhand will go about searching for the cap to the way people in West Bengal are searching for his missing beard.

It is just an electoral stunt,” he added.

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