A week after Congress president Rahul Gandhi called him a “bhagidar (collaborator)” in connection with the Rafale jet deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accepted the term saying that he was a “garbeebon ka bhagidar (collaborator in the sufferings of the poor)”. Modi said he was well aware of the struggles of poverty as he had experienced it.
The Prime Minister was in Lucknow to mark the three-year anniversary of his government’s flagship urban development schemes — AMRUT, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and Smart Cities mission. Modi also credited former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a former MP from Lucknow, for revolutionising urban infrastructure.
Rahul’s comments were made during the debate in Parliament on the no-confidence motion, last week.
“Aapne suna hoga in dino mujhpar ek iljam lagaya gaya hai… Iljam yeh hai ki main chaukidar nahi hun bhagidar hun … Main is iljam ko inam manta hun… Mujhe garv hai ki main bhagidar hun… main desh ke gareebon ke dukh ka bhagidar hun… main mehnatkash majdooron ka bhagidar hun… har dukhiyari maa ki takleefon ka bhagidar hun… (You must have heard the latest allegations against me… They say that I am not a “chaukidar (watchman)” but a “bhagidar”… I accept it as a reward, not as a charge… I am proud that I am collaborator with the poor in their struggles… the labourers’ hardwork… the mothers’ troubles.)”
“Garva hai ki main ek gareeb maa ka beta hun… Garibi ne imandari aur himmat di… Garibi ki maar ne mujhe jindigi jeena sikhaya… Maine gareebi ki maar ko jhela hai… Jisne bhoga hai wahi takleef janta hai aur takleef ka samadhan bhi… (I am proud to be son of a poor mother… Poverty gave me strength and honesty… Poverty taught me to live life… I have suffered poverty.. the one who has suffered only knows the troubles and can find solutions),” he said.
He said that he wanted to bring gas stoves to every mother and provide economic security to the farmer. Invoking Vajpayee, Modi said that Lucknow was the former prime minister’s “Karma Bhumi” and that his government was taking it forward.
Vajpayee, he said, used Lucknow as a testing ground to bring in flyovers, bio-technology parks and scientific convention centres.
He also credited the former prime minister for the Delhi Metro and setting the tone for the rest of the country to follow. Vajpayee was also credited for bringing housing scheme for urban poor.
He said that hanging electricity wires, poor drinking water, overflowing sewer and hours long traffic jams cannot define 21st century and that is why AMRUT and Smart City was thought of by his government.
“Latakte taar, ganda pani, ufante seevar, ghanto tak lagte traffic jam, aisi tamam avyavasthayein ekisvi sadi ke bharat ko paribhashit nahi kar sakte…,” said the PM.
Without taking names, he targeted the previous governments of the state and said, “Unka to one-point programme tha apne bangale ko sajana sawarna… (they had only one-point programme and that was to decorate their own bungalows).”
PM inauguratesRs 3,897-cr projects
Modi also laid the foundation stones as well as inaugurated 99 urban development projects for Uttar Pradesh worth Rs 3,897 crore. He also transferred funds into the accounts of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna beneficiaries through direct online transfer, apart from interacting with the beneficiaries. He also gave away different awards on the occasion to mark three years of the government’s flagship programmes. While Pune, Hyderabad and Indore were given awards for issuing Municipal bonds, Pune was awarded for bringing the best project under Smart City mission.
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