Laying foundation stones Monday for a slew of projects worth over Rs 2,400 crore and inaugurating, among others, a multimodal inland water transport terminal on the Ganga in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Opposition parties, saying the country wants “vikas ki rajneeti” (development politics) and not “votebank ki rajneeti” (votebank politics).
Receiving the first inland container cargo, the Prime Minister said the arrival of the vessel in Varanasi means that eastern Uttar Pradesh has now been connected to the Bay of Bengal. And this, he said, will also benefit Purvanchal and eastern India.
This and the numerous projects being undertaken, he said, are a fitting response to critics and a “living example of the new vision for a new India”: “Alochna karne walon ko jawab diya hai… New India ke new vision ka jeeta jagta saboot hai.”
He said the development work happening now should have been completed decades ago. He said the entire country, and not just Varanasi, is now witness to how the vision of Next Gen Infrastructure can transform the means of transport. Attacking the previous governments, he said funds meant for projects, including the cleaning of the Ganga, had been simply washed away.
Urging the crowd to save their energy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi said the public now decides on the basis of development and not on the basis of votebank politics: “Ab desh sirf aur sif vikas ki rajneeti chahta hai. Janata apne faisle vikas dekh kar karti hai, votebank ki rajneeti nahin.” He said BJP governments want to lead the country and its citizens towards development.
He said the inland waterway will reduce transportation cost by at least Rs 4,500 per container as compared to other means of transport. “Char varsh pehle iska majak udaya gaya tha… nakaratmak batein kahi gayi thi (It was ridiculed four years ago, negative things were said). He said this will open a route for better export of carpets from neighbouring Bhadohi and Mirzapur, fertilizers and promote tourism and cruises.
He promised the crowd that “badalte huay Banaras ki tasveer ko aur bhavya aur divya banayenge (the changing face of Varanasi will look more grand and beautiful)”.
He inaugurated the Varanasi Ring Road Phase 1, and the development and construction for four-laning of the Babatpur-Varanasi section of NH-56. He also mentioned other projects, including those related to Namami Gange, which were inaugurated, or for which the foundation stones were laid Monday.