(Eds: Recasting story with additional quotes by PM) Balangir (Odisha), Jan 15 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said there was a conspiracy to oust him as his government had stopped the siphoning of Rs 90,000 crore through bogus documents.
“We have put an end to loot of public money (which was the case) during the previous governments by middlemen. We have busted more than six crore fake ration cards, LPG connections and bogus pensions,” Modi said at a BJP rally in this western Odisha town.
Around Rs 90,000 crore has been saved by detecting these irregularities and blocking the leakages, he said.
“Money was being siphoned using names of children who were not born, in the name of people who did not exist,” the prime minister said, after he unveiled a slew of central projects worth over Rs 1,550 crore at an official function here.
Since the Centre has put the illegal interests of some people in jeopardy, they are now joining hands to remove the country’s “chowkidar” (watchman) by levelling false allegations against me, the prime minister said without taking any names.
He said, “Who will protect the rights of the poor? We have stopped the loot of Rs 90,000 crore. This money used to go into the pockets of people who used to purchase big cars and fly in aeroplanes. But now these things have stopped, so their anger against Modi is natural. Now they want to take revenge against me. But with your blessings their efforts will not be successful,” he said.
Hinting at the coming together of opposition parties against the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said conspiracies are being hatched from various quarters and now some of the conspirators are coming together.
“I want to tell these people from the land of Lord Jagannath that this chowkidar will rest only after completely halting loot of public money.
“Chowkidar will rest only after ensuring punishment to those who looted public money,” he said, virtually kicking off BJP’s campaign for the coming elections. Modi’s latest visit to Odisha was his third visit to the state in the last three weeks.
Assembly elections in Odisha are slated to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls, due in a few months.
Asserting that the BJP-led NDA government has been working with determination for the development of the country, Modi said the Centre is focusing on five streams — education, earnings for the youth, medicine for the elderly, irrigation for farmers and listening to the masses — to ensure overall and balanced progress.
Speaking on the 10 per cent reservation for economically backward people in the general category, Modi called it “significant work done.” “Sabka saath sabka vikas (development for all) is ensured when all sections of society get equal opportunity.
“Gaps in society get wider in the absence of opportunities (for all). A major step has been taken by amending the constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation for the poor belonging to general category in jobs and education without affecting the constitutional rights of OBCs, SCs and STs”, he said.
Hitting out at the Congress without taking the party’s name, the prime minister accused the previous central governments of ruling like “sultanates” and neglecting the country’s rich heritage.
He said the government led by him is committed not only to conserving and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage but also bringing together ancient identities with modernity.
“The past governments left these (culture and modernity) to their fate. The past governments ruled like ‘sultanates’ and neglected our rich heritage. They ignored our glorious civilization and failed to pay attention to their preservation,” Modi said adding India was known worldwide for its progress in science but little was done for its propagation.
The prime minister said some people are even opposing celebration of International Yoga Day without understanding that yoga is India’s ancient asset.
He said yoga is not his creation or his government’s but the contribution of “our forefathers” and that it has become popular worldwide on its own strength.
Modi said the proposal to name an island in the Andamans after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose snatched the sleep of some people.
“These people neither have any understanding of our past and heritage, nor are they aware of the importance of tourism and culture,” he said.
Those who mocked the Statue of Unity failed to realise that the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel could become a place of tourist attraction, Modi said.
Foreigners were once jealous of India’s assets and richness which were destroyed and plundered by invaders, he said adding no serious effort was made to retrive, reconstruct and preserve these by the past governments.
Claiming that priceless antique pieces and ancient idols were stolen and moved out of the country in the past, he said the NDA government has taken concrete steps to bring back precious idols from abroad.
“In the last four years many such idols have already been brought back from foreign countries,” Modi said.
The prime minister, who unveiled a slew of projects worth Rs 1,550 crore for Odisha before addressing the BJP rally, said central projects worth more than Rs 20,801 crore have been launched in the state in the last three weeks.
“I am happy to unveil projects worth Rs 1,550 crore in areas like education, connectivity, tourism and culture,” Modi said after inaugurating and laying foundation stone for a host of projects, mainly in the Railways sector.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.