While addressing two rallies at Yavatmal in Vidarbha and Dhule in Khandesh in north Maharashtra, the PM launched multi-sector projects — infrastructure, housing, Railways, irrigation — and social schemes under self-help groups. The emphasis was on giving a facelift to the backward tribal belt of Vidarbha and north Maharashtra.
At Yavatmal, Modi addressed a massive rally of members of women self-help groups. He had the crowd cheering when he started speaking in Banjara — Yavatmal has a sizeable Banjara population. Later, briefly switching over to Marathi, Modi discussed his government’s provisions for various deprived sections of the country.
He recalled his earlier visit to Yavatmal in March 2014 for a ‘chai pe charcha’ programme at Dabhadi village in Arni tahsil. “I have tried to fulfil the promises made to farmers then,” he said.
The PM read out statistics of schemes after schemes, initiated by his government, asking the people whether they were happy. With the crowd roaring in affirmative, Modi said, “All this could become possible because you didn’t make a mistake while voting in 2014. If you would have erred then, you would have remained where you were (in 2014). Please keep showering your blessings on your pradhan sevak even in the coming elections.”
The PM, however, refrained from targeting Congress during his entire speech.
Union Minister for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari thanked the PM for generously helping Vidarbha’s irrigation projects via Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. “Fourteen irrigation projects in Vidarbha will be completed before 2019. Then no farmer will have to commit suicide,” he said, emphasising the “identity” of Yavatmal as farmers’ suicide district.
The PM also e-launched several road works in the district and electronically opened an Eklavya Residential School for tribal children at Kinwat in the neighbouring Nanded district of Marathwada. The PM also handed over keys of houses built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to two women, Sangita Mangam and Vaishali Yede. Further, he gave a cheque for Rs 50,000 as loan for tailoring business to Rachna Meshram who had received training under the government’s skill government programme. Nikita Jadhav, a young girl, was given an appointment letter for a job in a Lifestyle showroom.
Modi flagged off the Ajni (Nagpur)-Pune train service through video link and also distributed certificates and cheques under the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission to women self-help groups.
At Dhule, the PM launched projects worth Rs 13,015 crore. These included Lower Panazara Medium Project constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchan Yojana, Sulwade Jamphal Kanoli Lift Irrigation Scheme, Dhule City Water Supply Scheme as well as Dhule-Nardana new rail line and Jalgaon-Manmad third railway line. Further, he flagged off the Bhusaval-Bandra Khandesh Express, Udhna-Paladhi MEMU train and Nandurbar-Udhna MEMU train through video link and interacted with the beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.