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Just a day ahead of the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (Saturday, May 18) began his two day visit to Uttarakhand, starting with the Kedarnath Shrine and will also be visiting Badrinath tomorrow.

Fifty nine parliamentary constituencies, including Varanasi, will go to polls in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections and the results will be announced four days later, on May 23.

The Election Commission is learnt to have given its permission for PM Modi’s visit on the grounds that it is an official visit, but it also “reminded” the prime minister’s office that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is still in force.

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“The visit is official so it can be undertaken. But the office of the prime minister has been reminded that the poll code is still in force,” news agency PTI quoting an official in the poll body as saying.

Keeping in view of PM Modi’s arrival, security has been tightened near the shrine which is located at 11,755 ft above the sea level.

The Himalayan shrine, dedicated to Shiva, has been visited multiple times by PM Modi during his current term.

In November last year, Prime Minister Modi had visited the Kedarnath shrine during Diwali.

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In 2017, he paid visits to the temple twice, once in May after its gate had opened following a six-month winter break and again in October, before the temple again closed for winters.

This year, the portals of the Kedarnath temple in the Garhwal Himalayan range of Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district were thrown open to pilgrims on May 9 after a six-month-long winter break.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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