Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday lashed out at his political rivals, saying for the BJP, politics was not for the sake of votes as it considered the country’s development as the top-most priority.
“Some politicians work only when it fetches them votes. But we have been brought up in a different culture. For us, the nation is above all and it is our top-most priority, not votes,” he said.
Modi was addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the first ‘Pashu Arogya Mela’ (cattle health fair) here on the second day of his two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi.
Stressing that his government’s prime agenda was development, he said “Governance is not about politics or winning elections. The priority is the well-being of the nation.”
“Our (BJP) politics is not for votes, our culture is different. In politics, people do only that task which yields votes, but our character is different,” Modi said.
Referring to the mega animal fair spread over 1800 acres of land here, he said “these animals don’t go to cast their ballot. They are not anyone’s voters.”
He said that by 2022, when the country celebrates 75th year of Independence, “every poor, whether in urban or rural area, will get a home”.
Modi, who also distributed Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana certificates to some beneficiaries, said, “When crores of houses are built across the country, it will require bricks, cement, iron and wood. It will generate jobs for thousands and open up new avenues of income and employment.”
“If Modi will not take up such an arduous task, who else will,” he posed, noting that crores of families were still homeless.
The Prime Minister also promised to double farm income by 2022 as he congratulated UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for organising the Pashudhan Arogya Mela, which he said “will benefit the farmers across the state.”
“Doubling of farmers’ income is an area in which significant work is being done,” he said and added, “Let us build on the strides we have made in the dairy sector. Cooperatives can help in this regard as they have in other parts of the nation.”
Modi said proper healthcare of the cattle through such initiatives would help increase milk production in India which is lower than in several countries.
Encouraging farmers to adopt dairy farming and animal husbandry as alternative sources of income, he said such initiatives would lead to “a new path of progress” that would not only raise farmers’ income but also the overall national income.
On corruption, Modi said his government had “waged a war” against black money and graft, for which the poor has had to suffer because of “the loot” by the dishonest.
He also targeted the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh for not providing to the Centre the list of homeless requiring houses in the state.
“The previous government had no interest in giving homes to the poor. After mounting pressure, they gave a list of only 10,000. But the current (Yogi Adityanath) government has given a list of lakhs of people to avail benefit,” he said.
Modi said his government has “waged a war” against blackmoney, corruption and dishonesty.
“A common honest man suffers as the corrupt used to loot him. The campaign for honesty is now moving forward like a festival. The way in which our trader brothers are associating with GST and Aadhar, every penny of the people will be spent for their welfare. We are moving forward fast,” he said.
Earlier, Modi laid the foundation stone for toilet units at the village under his pet Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan project.
Reiterating his “Clean India” message, Modi said he was happy to have got the “opportunity to help in construction of toilets for the poor. Swachhata is puja (cleanliness is worship for me). It can save my countrymem from diseases. Cleanliness is a way to serve the poor of India.”
Noting that cleanliness was everyone’s responsibility, he said “because of the mentality that someone will spread garbage and others will clean it, we have not made India as clean as it should have been. It is not just to make our villages look good but also for the sake of health.”
Referring to his government’s cleanliness drive, he quoted a survey and said toilets at home can save up to Rs 50,000 per annum if hygenic practices are adopted.
Praising the people of the village where he laid the foundation of a toilet for naming it as “Izzatghar” (the home of honour), Modi said “I liked this word so much. Where there is Izzatghar, there is honour of our mothers and sisters. I also congratulate the state government for recognising it as Izzatghar. In the days to come, those who are concerned about their honour, will construct more Izzatghar.”
The Prime Minister also lauded the Chief Minister for organising health treatment for cattle and said ailing animals have been brought here from different parts to be treated by specialist doctors and hoped that such programmes would be held across the state more often.
He said such fairs and camps would also help poor farmers who cannot afford treatment to their animal due to poverty.
Earlier, he went around the animal shelter (‘gau shala’), spoke to the staff and even patted some cows there. Modi also interacted with children and patted a little girl, who was apparently awestruck over what was going on.
The Prime Minister also said that in Kashi (Varanasi) he had saved crores of rupees by using LED bulbs in homes and street lights. “This money can be used on development.”
He said many new projects have been launched for cleanliness in Varanasi, including a Rs 600-crore sewer treatment plant and a unit to generate power from garbage.
On the first day of his visit, Modi inaugurated 17 infra projects worth over Rs 1000 crore including the Ramnagar-Samne Ghat bridge and the Balua Ghat bridge.
He also flagged off the third Mahamana Express train between Varanasi, his constituency, and Vadodara in Gujarat, his home state.
As he dedicated schemes to his Lok Sabha constituency, he remarked that “unlike previous governments who were driven by political calculations, this government not only launches but completes its projects”.