With 2019 Lok Sabha Elections just around the corner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday blew the poll bugle in Maharashtra. The prime minister, who arrived in Nagpur this morning, is scheduled to address members of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) at a rally in Pandharkawda town of Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district. Later in the day, Modi will also attend another public gathering at Dhule. He landed at the city airport by a special plane at 9:55 am from Delhi. Modi was received by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Immediately after that, accompanied by the three, Modi took a helicopter to Pandharkwada and reached there by 10:30 am. Ahead of Modi's address in Yavatmal, a two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the 40 CRPF jawans killed in the gruesome terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on Thursday.
Here are the Highlights from PM Modi's address at Yavatmal:
12:20 pm: With the help of Janadhan and Bandhan Yojana, developmental works are in process to help the tribal community.
12:17 pm: Are you happy with the work I am doing, the efforts I'm taking: Modi asks people at public rally in Maharashtra's Yavatmal.
12:16 pm: In this Budget, our government has announced a big decision for the nomad community. For the first time in history, a government has taken care of the community. Our government has decided to set up a Developmental Welfare Board for this community: Modi.
12:12 pm: PM Modi targets Pakistan over Pulwama terror attack, says a nation on verge of bankruptcy has now become the second name for terror: PM
12:10 pm: I promise that every family will have their own house by 2022, says Modi.
12:09 pm: Centre aimed to provide houses to every homeless people by 2022 and our government is reaching towards the goal: PM Modi at Yavatmal.
12:06 pm: Today, millions of developmental and welfare projects have been inaugurated in Yavatmal. Some of these projects are related to the poor, railways and employment, says Modi.
आज यवतमाल के विकास से जुड़ी सैकड़ों करोड़ की परियोजनाओं का शिलान्यास किया गया है। इनमें गरीबों से जुड़ी, सड़कों से जुड़ी, रेलवे से जुड़ी, रोजगार से जुड़ी अनेक परियोजनाएं हैं : पीएम मोदी pic.twitter.com/l4aUmlXzlj— BJP (@BJP4India) February 16, 2019
12:02 pm: Terror organisations who have committed this crime, no matter how much they try to hide, they will be punished. Security forces have been given full freedom: Modi at Maharashtra's Yavatmal.
12:01 am: Two sons from Maharashtra lost their lives in the attack, their sacrifice won’t go in vain, says the prime minister.
11:59 pm: All of us are going through deep pain. I understand your resentment over the gruesome terror attack in Pulwama. I can feel the pain of those families who have lost their sons: PM Modi.
मैं जानता हूं कि हम सभी किस गहरी वेदना से गुजर रहे हैं।— BJP (@BJP4India) February 16, 2019
पुलवामा में जो हुआ, उसको लेकर आपके आक्रोश को मैं समझ रहा हूं।
जिन परिवारों ने अपने लाल को खोया है, उनकी पीड़ा मैं अनुभव कर सकता हूं : पीएम मोदी pic.twitter.com/cGXpQ7gc32
11:49 am: Enhancing education, housing and financial inclusion for the poor: Narendra Modi. WATCH LIVE
Enhancing education, housing and financial inclusion for the poor. https://t.co/vt0vas5Axp— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 16, 2019
11:25 am: PM Modi lays foundation stone and inaugurates development projects in Yavatmal, Maharashtra.
LIVE : PM Modi lays foundation stone and inaugurates development projects in Yavatmal, Maharashtra. https://t.co/vCxFCsuozG— BJP (@BJP4India) February 16, 2019
11:03 am: PM Modi interacts with women Self Help Groups Pandharkawda, Yavatmal.
09:49 am: "Maharashtra: PM Narendra Modi arrives in Nagpur. He will launch multiple projects in the state today," the news agency ANI reported.
Maharashtra: PM Narendra Modi arrives in Nagpur. He will launch multiple projects in the state today. pic.twitter.com/PU6EOvshRp— ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2019
During his day-long visit to the state, Modi is likely to announce some welfare schemes for members of SHGs operating across east Maharashtra. Over three lakh SHG women, farmers and tribals are expected to attend the rally, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir said. Besides, Modi will also launch two new trains, Eklavya schools for tribals, an irrigation scheme and a rail electrification project in Pandharkawda and Dhule.
Post that, the prime minister will hand over keys to selected beneficiaries marking e-grihapravesh of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. His agendas include the flagging off of Ajni-Pune AC train through a video link. Modi will then press the button to lay the foundation stone of roads under Central Road Fund. He will also distribute cheques and certificates under Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission to women SHGs.
The prime minister had in the past addressed women SHG members from adjoining Ghatanji tehsil through a video link. Yavatmal, which is a part of the extended cotton belt in the Vidarbha region, used to be called as the "suicide capital of farmers". Yavatmal-Washim Lok Sabha constituency is being represented by the Shiv Sena.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has planned protests on Saturday to oppose the prime minister's visit, claiming that he has 'failed' to fulfil the promises given to local farmers during his earlier visit in 2014. Former state unit Congress president Manikrao Thakre said the PM’s visit was aimed at garnering votes of women for the polls.