Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said development was the solution to all the problems in the country and accused the previous governments of destroying the public exchequer in their bid to win elections.
Modi, who is on his first visit to Varanasi after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in March this year, also launched several development projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore for his Lok Sabha constituency.
“Development is the solution to all our problems,” Modi said addressing a public meeting.
“Pehle aisi sarkarein aa ke gayi jinko vikas sey nafrat jaisa mahaul tha. Unke liye sarkari tijori chunao jitney ke karyakramo mein tabah ho jaati thi (Governments in the past were such that they seemed to hate development. For them, national exchequer was destroyed in the task of winning elections),” he added.
Targeting the previous governments, Modi alleged they were driven by political calculations, resulting in schemes being inaugurated but never seeing completion.
“We not only launch but also complete projects.”
Asserting that his government’s effort was to empower the poor, he said, “Our aim is to see that the dream of development is fulfilled and lives of poor changes and they get opportunities.”
Modi said even the poor people do not want their future generations to eke out a living like themselves. “No poor person wants to give their children their poverty in inheritance,” Modi said.
He said his government shares their dream and is working to realise it. “Our government has a dream to wipe out poverty.”
“India is progressing very fast, now we will strive to ensure development of eastern Uttar Pradesh and the eastern region,” he said, amid applause.
He inaugurated the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul - a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts and crafts museum - constructed at a cost of Rs 300 crore.
Referring to development projects for weavers, who constitute a major chunk of the population in the city, Modi said his government wants their works to be showcased globally so as to enhance their economic prospects.
“Our weavers need a global market which will enhance their economic prospects significantly,” he said.
At the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, Modi evinced keen interest in the wooden and glass products on display and talked to the rural artisans to encourage them.
The prime minister said his government has started initiatives to connect waterways for economic development.
He also flagged off, via a video link, the Mahamana Express train to connect Varanasi with Vadodara and Surat in Gujarat, his home state.
The Mahamana Express with plush interiors -- built under the ‘Make in India’ initiative -- currently runs on two routes, Varanasi-New Delhi and Bhopal-Khajuraho.
The new weekly train will run from Varanasi every Friday and from Vadodara every Wednesday.
The 1,531-km journey between the two cities is expected to take about 28 hours.
Modi also inaugurated banking services of the Utkarsh Bank and unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the headquarters building of the bank which specializes in micro-finance.
Earlier, the prime minister showered praise on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying he was doing wonders.
“Cheh mahine mein Yogiji ne kamaal kiya (In his six months in office, Yogi has done wonders),” Modi said and thanked him for his laudable achievements.
Speaking on the occasion, Adityanath said, “The state government is implementing schemes for development of the farmers, youth and villagers while drawing inspiration and guidance from the prime minister.”
The roadmap prepared by the textiles ministry will benefit lakhs of weavers of eastern UP, he said.
Union Textiles minister Smriti Irani said, “It is indeed a moment of happiness for textile ministry that the Rs 300 crore Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul has been unveiled by the prime minister.”