Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the government has allocated development projects worth Rs 26,000 crore to various sectors in Himachal Pradesh, PTI reported. He was addressing a public rally in Dharamsala to celebrate a year of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state.

Modi was welcomed by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Kangra MP Shanta Kumar. Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Dev Vrat was also present at the rally.

Modi described the state as his home and congratulated Thakur on completing a year of his tenure. “I worked here for several years for the party’s organisational work,” Modi said, adding that he had learnt several things while travelling through the hilly state.

Modi also stressed on the one rank, one pension scheme implemented by the Centre. He said Himachal Pradesh is the land of brave soldiers who are ready to make the sacrifice for the country.

Indirectly referring to the Opposition Congress, Modi said that those who looted the country earlier were now scared of its “watchman”. “They have now started abusing the watchman,” Modi added.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray earlier this week had criticised Modi over the Rafale jet deal, labelling him a thief. “Nowadays, even the watchman has started committing theft,” Thackeray had said, accusing the BJP-led government of overpaying for the aircraft deal.

The prime minister witnessed an exhibition that showcased the benefits of the government-sponsored schemes. He said that the BJP-led government was not just focusing on tourism and agriculture-related schemes but had also kept in mind the state’s industrial capabilities.

35 students injured in bus accident

At least 35 students, on their way to Modi’s rally, were injured after their bus overturned in Kangra district on Thursday. An unidentified district official said that five of the injured are in a critical condition. The private bus was carrying 45 passengers.

Ten of the injured children sustained fractures and minor injuries and were admitted to a local primary health centre in Nagrota Suriyan, the Hindustan Times reported.

The accident took place in Jawali sub-division in Kangra, 37 km from the Police Grounds in Dharamsala where Modi addressed the public rally. “An accident has taken place. People were injured,” Modi said at the rally. “I pray for them. The chief minister will ensure that all help is provided to them.” He asked the people attending the rally to exercise caution while going back from the rally. “Please go slowly... let it take longer,” he said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi said he was sad to hear the news of the bus accident. “I pray to God that those who are injured get relief as soon as possible,” he said in a Facebook post. “I express my deepest sympathy with the parents of the children.”