Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there was a time when Gujarat was tackling a natural calamity and subsequently, “a period of conspiracies started to malign the state in the country and in the world, to stop investment”. Without naming anyone, Modi said this did not deter the state.
“There were conspiracies to defame Gujarat in the country and the world. Repeated attempts were made to stop investment coming to the state, but the state chose a new path of progress,” Modi said at a rally after inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of development works in Bhuj district ahead of Gujarat elections slated later this year.
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Modi said that despite such conditions, “Gujarat became the first state to come up with a disaster management act”. He said that the act inspired in tackling of the coronavirus pandemic and Gujarat and Kutch “progressed leaving behind those conspiracies”.
Memorial for quake victims
The PM was speaking after laying foundation stones of projects worth around Rs 4,400 crore in Bhuj and inaugurating Smriti Van Memorial, built in the memory of January 2001 earthquake victims.
“After the 2001 Kutch earthquake, in the midst of the destruction, I had spoken about redevelopment of Kutch and we worked hard for it. Today, you are witnessing the results,” he said. “There were many who said Kutch won’t be able to recover from the earthquake but people there have changed the scenario,” he said.
“You may see many deficiencies in India now, but I can clearly visualize that by 2047, India will be a developed nation,” Modi said.
Meanwhile, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel said in his address that while Kutch is celebrating the arrival of Narmada water in the district, the celebration is also an occasion to remember who kept the region deprived of water for five decades.
Patel said that these are the same “urban naxals” who opposed the Sardar Sarovar Dam project.
“One of these urban naxals was Medha Patkar. We all know which party she is associated with and who gave her a ticket to contest the parliamentary election. Such people wanted to bring Naxal movement in Gujarat by misleading people,” he said. Patkar, better known for Narmada Bachao Andolan, had contested Lok Sabha polls from Aam Aadmi Party’s ticket from Mumbai.
Modi’s roadshow in Bhuj
Earlier, Modi held a roadshow in Bhuj town of Kutch district on the second day of his visit to the state. Thousands of people from Bhuj and surrounding areas gathered on both sides of the road to greet. Modi, who waved at them during the three kilometres long roadshow, held between Hill Garden circle and District Industries Centre in Bhuj town.
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After leading the roadshow, Mr. Modi arrived at ‘Smriti Van’, a memorial built on the outskirts of Bhuj town in the memory of the 2001 earthquake victims, to inaugurate it.