Drawing a parallel between Uttar Pradesh’s large population of approximately 24 crore with that of the United States and four European countries, and their respective fatalities due to coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the state government under Yogi Adityanath has saved close to 85,000 lives.
The situation, Modi said, would have been different under previous governments, as they would have only made excuses. But the Adityanath government foresaw the situation and made quarantine and isolation centres to curb the virus’ spread, he said.
Modi made the remarks while launching the ‘Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Yojna’, that seeks to promote local entrepreneurship with industrial associations.
“If we see four European countries—England, France, Italy and Spain—which have been superpowers, and still have significant influence across the world, their (combined) population is about 24 crore. In India, just Uttar Pradesh has this much population. While 1.30 lakh people have died of coronavirus in these countries, UP, with a similar population, has seen just 600 deaths,” said Prime Minister.
Talking about the US, the Prime Minister said, “You must have seen reports coming from America, which can arrange anything in the blink of an eye. But with a population of about 33 crore, America has seen 1.25 lakh (Covid-related) deaths.”
He emphasised, “If the Yogi Adityanath government had not made arrangements, and if UP had seen similar (rate of) fatalities like America, then about 85,000 people would have died here. Those lives have been saved (in UP).”
Modi said Adityanath did not go to perform the last rites of his father and instead worked with officials on plans to save people of the state from coronavirus, and that UP’s figures have “surprised experts from across the world”, he said.
Modi also exhorted people to remember that the battle against the virus is not going to end now, and as people move out for work, it would be a fight for both life and living.
“Yaad rakhiye, corona ke khilaf ladhayi bandh honay wali nahi hai…. Ladhayi jaari rakhni hai, ladhayi jaari hai. Kaam par nikaliye, lekin do gaj ki doori, chehre pe mask aur lagataar saaf-safayi. Jeevan aur ajeevika dono ki ladhayi UP jeetega, aur Bharat bhi jeetega (remember that the fight against the virus is not going to end; this fight has to continue. Go out for work but maintain a two-yard distance, cover the face and maintain constant hygiene. It is a fight for both life and living, which both UP and the country will win).”
In an indirect reference to Jawaharlal Nehru and the 1954 Kumbh stampede, which killed more than 500 people, Modi said that being an MP from Uttar Pradesh, the state’s achievements give him satisfaction but “once there was also a Prime Minister from UP” and when a large number of deaths took place in Prayagraj due to stampede during Kumbh, the entire energy of the government was used to hide fatality figures.
Modi also said the UP government has made both quantitative and qualitative addition to the Centre’s scheme for providing employment. He said other states should follow its example in launching such employment schemes.
The PM said UP is taking a lead in implementation of several government schemes and has now provided 1.25 crore jobs to labourers. Claiming that UP has seen visible progress in the past three years under a BJP government, he said 30 lakh permanent houses have been constructed, more than 3 lakh youths given government jobs, maternal mortality rate reduced, encephalitis controlled, and power and drinking water supply as well as road network in the state have improved.
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