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In campaign mode, PM Modi asks Varanasi to teach ‘right lesson’ to those who mocked Vande Bharat Express

Modi says all round development of the country could be possible because there was an absolute majority government at the helm of affairs

Statesman News Service | Lucknow |

Virtually kick starting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday development in Kashi, Uttar Pradesh and the country was possible because of a strong and full majority government at the Centre. He lashed out at forces who were bent on spreading negativity by mocking the Vande Bharat Express — the Delhi-Varanasi semi-high speed train launched recently by the Prime Minister — and said correct punishment should be meted out to them at the correct time.

The PM, who inaugurated and also laid the foundation stone and unveiled a slew of projects worth Rs. 3300 crore in his constituency, indirectly hit out at the efforts under way for a Mahagatbandhan of the opposition parties by stressing that all round development was possible because there was an absolute majority government at the helm of affairs. He said the envisioning of a Naya Bharat would “once again” begin from Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing a public meeting in Aurhey village in Sadar tehsil of Varanasi, Modi said the NDA government at the Centre had adopted a two-pronged strategy. The first was to concentrate on developing the infrastructure such as roads, highways, electrification etc, while the second entailed working for the uplift of the poor and margenlised sections of society in addition to women and the farming community.

In the context of farmers, he spoke about the loan waiver and said such waivers were announced once in 10 years during the previous regimes when only Rs 50-55,000 crores would be earmarked for the same, but the NDA government had set aside Rs 7,50,000 crores for the loan waiver. Around 2.25 crore farmers of UP would stand to benefit, he added.

Without naming Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, the prime minister hit out at them for mocking at the Vande Bharat Express. The duo had criticised the train for its initial breakdown and inability to keep the scheduled time. Modi said such forces just spread negativity, “but there is no need to feel disheartened”. “The utterances of such people were an insult to the engineers and the technician who had toiled day and night to make this semi high speed train a possibility. The same engineers and technicians will one day also built a bullet train,” he said. The PM said such negative forces “jo Bharat ka mazak banate hain” (who make fun of the country) were not worth forgiving and asked the assemblage to teach them the right lesson at the right time.

The PM, who essentially concentrated on the development carried out in Varanasi, said the promises made by him four and a half years ago had been realised at the ground level.

Earlier, the PM visited the temple of Sant Ravidas and offered his tributes to the saint on his birth anniversary. He said the area would be developed as a tourist centre and equipped with full civic amenities.

After landing in Varanasi, the PM launched the first diesel engine converted into electric engine at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW). Modi then launched a cancer hospital in Banaras Hindu University (BHU).