Modi vows to ‘make India the third largest economic superpower in the world’ in his third term

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the foundation stone laying and inauguration of various projects, in Varanasi on Dec. 18, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the foundation stone laying and inauguration of various projects, in Varanasi on Dec. 18, 2023.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday vowed to make India the third largest economy of the world in his third straight term.

“When Kashi develops, U.P. develops, and when U.P. develops, India develops,” Mr. Modi said, while inaugurating and laying foundation stones of several development projects estimated to be worth over ₹19,000 crore, including projects related to the Railways, electricity, roads, drinking water supply, and ghats in the Ganga river. “It is Modi’s guarantee to make our country the third largest economic superpower in the third term,” the PM said, speaking at the Barki gram sabha in Sewapuri block.

Stressing that, for him, only four castes existed, the PM said that when youth, farmers, the poor, and women become strong, India itself would become stronger. “Development of women, youth, farmers, and the poor is necessary for me. For Modi, these are the four castes. If these four castes become strong, the country will become strong,” he said.

Mr. Modi reiterated that the Purvanchal region had been neglected. “The region of Purvanchal remained neglected for decades, but with the blessings of Mahadev, Modi is engaged in your service. It is the strength of people from Kashi and the blessings of Mahadev that is behind my self-confidence. When Kashi is hailed across the world, it gives me immense happiness,” Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Modi also attended the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, interacted with beneficiaries, and listened to their stories in the ‘Meri Kahani, Meri Zubani’ (my story, my language) event. He was impressed by the eloquence and self-confidence of Chanda Devi, a beneficiary. “Did you contest elections before, would you like to contest?” the PM asked her, to which Ms. Devi replied in the negative. She expressed her gratitude to Mr. Modi for giving her a chance to speak before him, and hailed his pro-poor policies.

Earlier, Mr. Modi had flagged off the second Vande Bharat train connecting Varanasi and New Delhi; launched the New Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction to New Bhaupur Junction segment of the eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC); and inaugurated the Unified Tourist Pass System under the Smart City Mission, among other projects.

Mr. Modi also inaugurated the Swarved Mahamandir in Varanasi, said to be the world’s largest meditation centre, adding that cultural symbols of the country had been targeted during the “period of slavery”, and even post-Independence, such cultural symbols were not rebuilt. At the event, the PM highlighted the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. “Construction of the Ram temple will be complete in the next few weeks, and work is going on for the development of the ‘Ram circuit’,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, U.P. Ministers Anil Rajbhar, Jaiveer Singh, and Ravindra Jaiswal, other dignitaries, and a large number of people from Varanasi were present at the event.

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