Taking a swipe at opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the country is ready to fight corruption, but whenever action has been taken against corruption, there has been “polarisation in politics against it”.
“There is a political polarisation in the country to help the corrupt. People should be vigilant against it,” he said, addressing BJP workers in Kochi.
Referring to his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister said the biggest challenge in the way of development is corruption.
In an effort to woo the people of Kerala, one of the states BJP is looking at to spread its pan-India footprint further, Modi said states governed by BJP are making strides in development, given the “double-engine growth” potential alongside a BJP-led government at the Centre. And such development can take place in Kerala as well, he added.
The people of Kerala see BJP as a “ray of hope” for the state’s development and believe in honest efforts of the party in transforming the state, he said.
The Prime Minister reached Kochi on Thursday on a two-day visit. During his time in the state, Modi will commission India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, at the Cochin Shipyard Limited on Friday and launch a few projects, including opening a stretch of Kochi Metro.
Addressing a large group of party workers, Modi said the Centre is working to realise the needs of Kerala and is striving to ensure that basic facilities reach the marginalised, the poor and those from Dalit communities. Projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore are being implemented in Kerala by the Centre under various projects, he pointed out.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he said, Kerala has got 2 lakh houses, of which 1 lakh has been constructed. He emphasised that the Centre will set up medical colleges in all districts of the country, and students and nurses of Kerala will benefit from it.
Speaking on the Union government’s schemes, Modi said that during the pandemic, the Centre gave free ration to 1.5 crore people in Kerala. Under the PM Kisan scheme, he added, 3.5 lakh farmers in the state have benefited.
The Centre has set aside Rs 50,000 crore for development of roads in Kerala, he said. “We are giving much importance to the state’s connectivity,’’ he said, referring to the inauguration of a stretch of Kochi Metro and laying the foundation stone for the development of the railway station in Ernakulam.
Modi also visited Shri Adi Shankara Janmabhoomi Kshetram at Kalady. Later, he laid the foundation stone of various projects of Kochi Metro and Indian Railways worth around Rs 4,500 crore in Kochi.
Modi said the Centre has continuously worked to make the Metro railways system the most prominent mode of urban transport. “The first Metro in our country ran about 40 years ago and in the next 30 years, only 250 km Metro routes were added,” he said. “In the last eight years, more than 500 km of Metro routes have been laid in the country and work on new routes of more than 1,000 km is at present taking place.”
Stating that the government is “completely transforming” Indian Railways, he said, railway stations in the country are today being developed like airports.