Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asserted that the BJP government’s priority is only development, as he targeted the other party government’s which ruled Karnataka, and their “vote bank” politics for the backwardness of certain regions of the state. Referring to the positive aspect of having a BJP government at both state and Centre, he said, double engine government means double benefit, double welfare and double fast paced development, and Karnataka is the best example for this. Karnataka is going to assembly polls by May.
“It has been 75 years of India’s development and now the country is marching ahead with the focus on the next 25 years. These 25 years are going to be the Amrit Kaal for every citizen and state, during which we have to build a developed India,” Modi noted. Speaking after laying the foundation stone and inaugurating various developmental projects related to irrigation, drinking water besides a National Highway development project at Kodekal in this district, he said, India can be developed only when every citizen of the country, every family, every state gets associated with this campaign.
“India can be developed when, whether it is a farmer working in the field or a labourer working in industry, everyone has a better life. India can be developed when there are good crops in fields and industries expand too,” he said. Noting that this can be possible only when we learn from bad experiences and wrong policies of the past decades and see to it that it is not repeated, the PM said, there are examples of Yadgiri and north Karnataka before us, despite its potential this region was lagging behind in the development journey.
“Earlier governments had declared several districts including Yadgiri as backward and had shirked their responsibilities. The reason for this region lagging behind in development is the previous governments here did not spare time on thinking about how to get rid of backwardness from here, leave aside putting efforts towards it (development).” “When it was time to invest in electricity, road and water infrastructure, the parties that were in power then gave preference to vote bank politics, they saw every project and programmes with a prism of how to convert the votes of a particular community into a strong vote base for them. The biggest loss because of this had to be faced by the people of Karnataka and this region,” he added.
Yadagiri is part of the ‘Kalyana Karnataka’ or the Hyderabad Karnataka region as it was earlier known. These districts that were under the erstwhile rule of Nizams of Hyderabad are among the backward regions in the state. The region, comprising Bidar, Ballari, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir, enjoys special status under the Constitution (Article 371J) owing to its backwardness. Making it clear that the BJP government’s priority is not vote bank, our priority is development, development and more development, Modi said the country cannot be developed until even a single district is lagging behind in development. We have encouraged developmental activities that were declared backward by earlier governments, he said. This is the second visit of the Prime Minister to the poll-bound Karnataka this month. He was in Hubballi on January 12 to inaugurate the National Youth Festival, during which he had held a massive road show.
The trip also gains significance, as the ruling BJP prepares for assembly polls in Karnataka due by May and has set a target of winning a minimum of 150 out of total 224 seats. Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Bhagwanth Khuba, several Ministers from the state cabinet, legislators and officials were present at the event. About his government’s aspirational district programme of which more than 100 districts considered backward, including Yadgiri are a part, the PM said, “we have given focus to good governance and started developmental works. Yadgiri has achieved 100 percent vaccination of children, malnutrition numbers have come down, there is road connectivity to villages among others…Yadgiri’s performance has been among top 10 aspirational districts.”
Stressing that water security is necessary for the development of 21st century India, he said, if India has to develop, like border, coastal and internal security, there is a need to end the challenges of water security. He listed out the irrigation projects undertaken and completed by the government including river connectivity projects. “Stress is being given to ‘per drop more crop’ and micro irrigation.” On BJP governments at both state and Centre, Modi said, Double engine government is working with the thinking of “Suvidha and Sanchay” (facilities and savings), it is working on increasing the level of ground water.
Regarding the Jal Jeevan Mission, he said when we came to power 3 crore houses had tap water connectivity, now it has reached about 11 crore rural households. “So we have taken it to (added) about 8 crore rural households.” Citing a study, he said because of the Jal Jeevan mission we will be able to save the lives of 1.25 lakh children every year. He also complimented the Basavaraj Bommai government for the fast-paced development of North Karnataka region.