NEW DELHI: In the first leg of a two-day whirlwind tour across four states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited Raipur in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh besides also making a stop at his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi.

Besides holding rallies where he launched scathing attacks against the Congress, the PM inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of projects worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

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PM launches 8 projects in Raipur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated and laid foundation stones of eight projects worth around Rs 7,600 crore in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur and said the Centre has been providing modern facilities to those facing injustice for decades.

During an event at the Science College ground, the PM also virtually flagged off a new train between Antagarh in Kanker district and Raipur and kickstarted the distribution of cards of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme to beneficiaries in the state.

Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh are due by the end of this year.
PM Modi said Chhattisgarh is receiving projects worth more than Rs 7,000 crore in sectors like infrastructure and connectivity and they will open up ample job opportunities for the people of the state, ease their lives, create a business environment and add momentum to development.

“Congress’ ‘panja’ is a wall halting Chhattisgarh’s development…” PM Modi’s sharp dig at Baghel govt


“Congress’ ‘panja’ is a wall halting Chhattisgarh’s development…” PM Modi’s sharp dig at Baghel govt

“All these measures are social justice. It is ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’,” the PM added.
Chhattisgarh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, CM Bhupesh Baghel, his deputy T S Singhdeo, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya and others were present at the event.
Corruption Congress’ biggest ideology: PM
After laying foundation stones and inaugurating several projects, PM Modi held a rally in Raipur where he launched a scathing attack against the Congress, alleging that corruption was its biggest ideology. He also accused the party of stalling the development of Chhattisgarh, where elections are due by the year-end.

In his first visit to the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh after being elected as the PM for the second term in 2019, PM Modi said: “Chhattisgarh has become an ATM for the Congress … if the Congress was a guarantee for corruption, I am guarantee for action against graft.”
“The scam-ridden Congress government in Chhattisgarh has become a model of misrule and people have decided to root it out in the upcoming assembly elections … The next 25 years will be crucial for the development of Chhattisgarh, but a big ‘panja’ (Congress’s poll symbol) is standing like a tall wall against it. Congress’s panja had decided to snatch your rights and it will loot and destroy the state,” he said.
Chhattisgarh chief minister hits back
Hitting out against the PM’s allegations, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel accused him of speaking lies.
“Modi ji as you came, waves of lies started flowing. State BJP leaders have been misleading farmers that paddy is procured with the Centre’s money. You are the PM, you know the truth, but you also lied,” he tweeted.

It is the biggest lie in the name of farmers that the Centre accepts 80% of the paddy procured in the state, the CM said.
“If your government’s role is so huge in paddy purchase in the states, then why are farmers in your Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi forced to sell paddy at Rs 1,000-1,200 a quintal, Modi ji?” he asked.
PM attends Gita Press event, flags-off Vande Bharat trains in Gorakhpur
After Raipur, PM Modi reached Gorakhpur to attend the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Gita Press and flag off Vande Bharat trains.
Upon his arrival, PM Modi was welcomed by Governor Anandiben Patel and chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
At Gita Press, the world’s largest publisher of Hindu religious textbooks, the PM released the Chitramaya Shiva Purana Granth and also visited the Leela Chitra temple.
Gita Press was recently conferred with the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 by a jury headed by PM Modi. The prize is an annual award instituted by the central government in 1995 and it carries a prize money of Rs 1 crore, a citation, plaque and a traditional handicraft or handloom item.
Gita Press has refused to accept the prize money, saying it will only accept the citations.
PM Modi also flagged off the North Eastern Railway’s first semi high-speed Gorakhpur-Lucknow Vande Bharat train and the Jodhpur-Sabarmati Vande Bharat Express.
Unique example of heritage and development: PM
Addressing the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Gita Press, PM Modi said it was time to give up the slavery mentality and take pride in the country’s traditions. “The Gorakhpur visit this time is a unique example of ‘Virasat bhi, Vikas bhi (heritage and development)’ policy,” Modi said.
He said the dream of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is going to be fulfilled after centuries. He also referred to the redesigned Navy insignia based on a flag of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji.

“Even after 75 years of independence, we were carrying the symbol of slavery on our naval flag. We were following English traditions next to our Parliament in the national capital. So, we confidently took up the task of changing them and gave our heritage and traditions the recognition they deserve,” PM Modi said.
“The office of Gita Press is no less than a temple for crores of people. There is Gita in its name, as well as in its work. The spiritual light that was ignited here in the form of Gita Press in 1923 is guiding humanity today. It is our good fortune that we all are witnessing the golden century of this humanitarian mission,” PM Modi said.
The Congress had condemned the decision of the government to award the Gandhi Peace Prize to Gita Press because of the “stormy relations it had with Mahatma Gandhi” as it allegedly ran “campaigns that were against his thought.”
The press has, however, denied such allegations saying Gandhi was a regular contributor to its fortnightly magazine “Kalyan”.
PM unveils 29 projects in Varanasi
After Gorakhpur, PM Modi travelled to Varanasi where he unveiled 29 development projects worth Rs 12,100 crore.
The PM also launched the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction-Son Nagar railway line of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. Built at a cost of more than Rs 6,760 crore, the new line will facilitate faster and more efficient movement of goods.
He also laid the foundation stones or inaugurated several other projects for Varanasi and adjoining districts.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and CM Adityanath were present during the programme.
Previous govts made their schemes sitting in AC rooms: PM
Addressing a public rally in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi, PM Modi called the beneficiaries of welfare projects today examples of “real secularism” and social justice.
“Previous governments made their schemes sitting in air-conditioned rooms, never saw ground realities, but now the BJP government has started a dialogue with the beneficiaries,” he said, adding: “And its effect is that both the benefit and the feedback of the schemes are direct.”
(With inputs from agencies)Watch Prime Minister Modi inaugurates development projects worth ₹7,600 crore in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur


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