“Sabse adhik Pradhan Mantri kis pradesh ke hain… to woh bhi Uttar Pradesh hai… Aur kabhi kabhi to lagta hai ki shayad Uttar Pradesh itna saubhagya shali hai ki yahan par jo bhi chunao larta hai to hi uska pradhan mantri banne ka uska saubhagya pura hota hai (From where does the most number of prime minister come from… it is Uttar Pradesh… Sometimes, it feels that Uttar Pradesh is so auspicious that whosoever contests elections from here, they will be lucky to become the Prime Minister).”
With that President Ram Nath Kovind, who was in Lucknow at the launch of the “One District, One Product (ODOP)” summit, underlined the importance of Uttar Pradesh in the country’s politics.
At the event, Kovind spoke of Uttar Pradesh soon hitting the trillion-dollar economy mark, a target which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set at the UP Investors’ summit earlier this year. He said that, just as significant Uttar Pradesh is politically, the state is significant in terms of the country’s economy too.
“UP ke vikas ke bina Bharat ke vikas ki kalpana karna achi baat nahi hai. (It is not right to think of India’s growth without thinking of UP’s growth),” he said, adding that the state government has targetted 25 lakh jobs in five years through its ODOP scheme. At the event he launched the scheme’s website and helpline number. He advised the government to ensure that the products are branded, organise fairs in other states and also set up stalls in upcoming Kumbh Mela in Allahabad to sell these items.
The president also spoke on the people of the state. “Desh ke sarvochcha alankar 45 Bharat Ratna total abhi tak jo diye gaye hain unmein 11 ki janma sthalai ya karma sthali UP mein hain (Of the total 45 Bharat Ratna awards given so far, 11 either have UP as their birth place or work place),” he said, adding that it should be a matter of presitge for the people.
Giving the examples of Sant Kabir Das, Ravidas, Surdas, Malik Mohd Jaisi and Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi, the president said the state was home to many talents and invoked former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee thus: “Atalji aksar kehte they, Uttar Pradesh… Uttam Pradesh. Iski khoj ki jaroorat hai… Jo UP ki khoj kar lega to usko pata lagega ki UP kitna samradhshali hai (Atal ji often used to speak of Uttar Pradesh as Uttam Pradesh and said those who explored it would be prosperous).”
For this, he said, there was no alternative but hardwork. “Kam parishram ke vyavasyae ya naukri ki aur akarshit hone ki humari mansikta hai, aur mujhe lagta hai is mansikta ko humein badalna hoga.. Dignity of labour and respect of skill pe vishwas karna wala samaj vikas ki daur mein sadaiv age rehta hai,” said President.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that his government would soon come out with a scheme for labourers called “Vishkarma Shrama Samman Yojna”. On the ODOP scheme, he said it was inspired from similar initiatives in Japan and Bangkok. Governor Ram Naik, meanwhile maintained that it was a model for new revolution, which would soon become a role model for other states.