Development is the only answer to violence, says Modi
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Jun 14 : Development is the only answer to violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here today, in an apparent message to the naxals who have been indulging in a violent campaign in Chhattisgarh.
Addressing a rally after launching development projects worth Rs 22,000 crore in Chhattisgarh, which goes to polls later this year, he said his government is working on creating an “atmosphere of trust”.
He listed various initiatives undertaken by the BJP-led central and state governments.
“I think development is the only answer to violence and conspiracy of any sort. The trust emanating from development ends violence of any type,” he told the gathering here.
His comments made here assume significance as Chhattisgarh has been reeling under naxal insurgency and has witnessed large scale violence by the ultras.
Talking about creating “an atmosphere of trust”, the prime minister said his government has ensured that a part of the earnings from the natural resources like minerals would be spent on the welfare of locals.
Accordingly, Chhattisgarh has received Rs 3,000 crore as additional funds, which would be spent on hospitals, schools, roads and toilets, he said.
He also said that the central government was working towards increasing the income of tribals and those living in backward areas.
Among the various projects launched today was the air service between Jagdalpur and Raipur.
Modi said his dream was to see anyone wearing a ‘hawai chappal’ flying in a ‘hawai jahaz’ (plane).
He said this was the objective of the ‘Udan’ scheme of the central government, intended to connect small cities and towns by air.
Modi said his government was constructing roads as well as airports in areas where the previous government would stay away from even building roads.
Earlier the Raipur airport was restricted to only six flights a day but now it can handle 50 flights each day, he said.
The prime minister accused the previous UPA government at the Centre of ignoring Chhattisgarh.
He said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had been demanding an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the state for a long time but his demand was ignored.
When the NDA government assumed office, Chhattisgarhs long-standing demand for an IIT was fulfilled and IIT-Bhilai was established,” Modi told the public meeting, organized under the state governments month-long Vikas Yatra.
Chhattisgarh was earlier known for forests and tribals but now it is known for ‘smart city’, he said and referred to Naya Raipur – the country’s first ‘greenfield smart city’ taking shape in the state.
Modi said Naya Raipurs integrated command and control centre, a first-of-its kind which he inaugurated today, is a model for other smart cities in the country.
Naya Raipur will pave the way for a new India, he said.
Referring to the Bastar region, he said earlier it was known for “bombs and guns”, but now it is known for an airport, referring to the launch of the air service.
Lauding Raman Singh, Modi said he had implemented former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision of development and progress by focussing on stability, giving priority to law and order and peace.
He also spoke about skill development and said the state was witnessing a change because of several infrastructure projects.
This place is not new to me. I used to come here in a two-wheeler when it was a part of Madhya Pradesh. Since then, not a single year has passed when I haven’t visited the state. I have visited all the districts of the state, he said.
Modi also dedicated to the nation the extended and modernised Bhilai Steel Plant of SAIL.
Since Independence, from Kutch to Cuttack and Kargil to Kanyakumari, it is Bhilai Steel Plant that has provided tracks to Indian Railways, he said.
Chief Minister Raman Singh thanked the prime minister for establishing an IIT in Bhilai.
He also said that 36 lakh gas cylinders have been distributed to people in Chhattisgarh under the Centre’s Ujjwala Scheme.
This was Modi’s second visit to the state in the last two months. The Prime Minister also interacted with schoolchildren.