PM Modi says Varanasi will be gateway to the East; launches projects worth Rs 550 crore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Varanasi, which is also his parliamentary constituency, to celebrate his birthday. He inaugurated various new schemes for the city which he said will soon be the "gateway to East India".
Modi also launched and inaugurated projects worth Rs 557 crore.
Four years ago people of Kashi had resolved to transform the pilgrim town and today the difference is clearly visible, he said, taking a jibe at previous governments.
The prime minister said a particular file relating to laying of ring road was gathering dust before 2014 "as the previous government did not allow the project to gather pace as it feared that if the work is done, then Modi will be eulogised".
"This development work not only covers Varanasi but adjoining areas as well," he said.
Striking an emotional chord with the audience, Modi began his speech in local dialect and chanted "Har, Har, Mahadev", amid loud applause from the audience at the amphitheatre of BHU.
"It is indeed a matter of pride for me that I am starting another year dedicated to the country with the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and Maa Ganga. Your affection and blessings always motivate me and also strengthen my resolve to serve you and the countrymen," he said.
The development of Varanasi and adjoining areas is important for Modi and the BJP before the nation goes to Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for April-May next year, because in 2014 when Modi chose to contest from Varanasi he promised to transform the city.
Modi said: "Before becoming an MP, when I used to visit here, I used to wonder when will this city be freed from the mesh of entangled electricity wires hanging overhead".
"Today, a large portion of the city has been rid of such wires and at remaining places work of laying underground cables is going on at a fast pace," he said.
On the first day of his visit on Monday, Modi spent his 68th birthday in his Lok Sabha constituency during which he gave a pep talk to school children.
(With inputs from agencies)
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