NEW DELHI – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Uttar Pradesh was on its way to becoming a powerhouse, fuelling the country’s growth that had continued despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People always knew and said that the road to power at Delhi passes through Uttar Pradesh but earlier, none thought it fit to think that the state could also fuel the country’s growth. UP’s identity that was previously limited to politics, is changing now as big ticket infra projects, industries and investments have started coming to the state,” he said.
After speaking with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) in Uttar Pradesh via video conferencing on Thursday, Modi showered praise on chief minister Yogi Adityanath, describing him both as “Yogi and Karmyogi (saint and doer)” while seeking the blessings of the common man to let him continue the work for “Dalits, backwards, the poor and the marginalised”.
Under PM-GKAY, the state has provided free ration to an estimated 15 crore poor so far. “I am going to continue this scheme till Diwali,” the PM told one of the five beneficiaries shortlisted for interaction with him.
Launching a statewide awareness campaign on the food security scheme, PM Modi said it was a matter of immense satisfaction that every grain sent to the state was reaching the beneficiaries.
Adityanath welcomed the Prime Minister from Ayodhya, reminding the PM that last year on the same date (August 5), he was in the temple town for the bhoomi pujan (foundation stone laying) function of the Ram temple and how his government was developing a “nayi Ayodhya
Mentioning the significance of August 5, the PM referred to the scrapping of Article 370 two years ago on this day and the bhoomi pujan (foundation stone laying) function of the Ram temple in Ayodhya last year.
He said, “The day has become even more significant with the men’s hockey team winning a medal in the Olympics after decades.”
Referring to Covid-19 as a once-in-century pandemic, he said, “Can you even think what would have happened in UP had Covid-19 happened five years ago? But today, nearly 5.15 crore [51.5 million] vaccination doses have been given in the state.”
Hitting out at the Opposition, he said, “Politics is changing…Ab pad nahi padak (Not post, medals), parivar nahi parisharm (not dynastic politics but hard work) is becoming the main criteria.”
Apart from the Olympics, Modi also talked of an upcoming landmark of 500 milliion vaccination doses, record GST collection of ₹116,000 crore in July, signalling a new momentum in the economy. The Prime Minister also talked of the trial of the first Made in India aircraft carrier Vikrant, completion of construction of the highest motorable road in the world in Ladakh and launch of e-Rupi.