ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday claimed that "non-cooperation" by the previous Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh was responsible for the delay in start of a beautification project in his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi.
Modi was addressing a gathering in Varanasi after laying the foundation stone for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple's approach road and its beautification.
"In the first three years, there was non-cooperation of the state government. The developmental projects here took pace after you (people of Uttar Pradesh) made Yogi Adityanath the chief minister," he said.
"Had there been cooperation earlier, we would have launched the project instead of laying the foundation," Modi said.
Attacking previous governments, Modi said, "In the past 70 years, no government thought of Baba (Lord Shiva) and were silent. They took care of themselves but not of this place."
Noting that it was his "pleasure" to have initiated the work at Kashi Vishwanath, Modi said, "I had dreamt for a long time to work for this place. When I was not in politics, I came here several times and used to think that something should happen here."
"Bhole Baba ney tai kiya hoga baatein bahut karte ho, yahan aao kuch karke dikhao," (Lord Shiva must have decided that you talk much, so now you should come here and do something)," he said, adding that due to blessings, the fulfilment of his dream has started.
About the beautification project, Modi said this is "mukti (freedom) for Kashi Vishwanath Dham", which was surrounded by encroachments.
"For the first time, we acquired nearby buildings, removed encroachments, after which 40 ancient temples came to the fore. Many of them were encroached, kitchens were set up and people were living there," he said.
Appreciating those involved in the project, Modi said, "I have seen a lot of government employees as I was CM for a long time. But I want to say with pride that the team of officers deployed here by Yogiji is doing work with bhakti (devotion) and sewa bhav."
It was difficult to take people into confidence to give their properties and ensure the project does not take political colour, Modi said. "I thank people of Kashi, who gave their properties for Baba. This is the biggest daan they have given for Baba," the prime minister said.
Stating that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was "targeted by enemies", he said they tried to destroy it, but it again took "rebirth due to the faith" of people.
"When Gandhiji came here, he was pained about why is this place like this. In his address in the BHU, Gandhiji expressed his thoughts," Modi said, suggesting the university should “make the entire project a case study for research, so that when it is completed, the world can know how it happened”.
"We will also try to trace the history of 40 temples discovered here and the government will also take care of them," Modi said, adding the project will be a model for "protection and preservation" of temples and a combination of modern technology with ancient faith.
"It will give new identity to Kashi in the world. Maybe it's in my fate. In 2014, when I came here, I said mai aaya nahi, mujhe bulaya hai (I did not come here on my own, I was summoned). Maybe, I came here for this work," he said.
Earlier, the prime minister visited the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and also inspected the project site.
During his brief stay in his constituency, Modi will attend the National Women Livelihood Meet 2019 at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul and distribute appreciation letters to five women self-help groups, whose members will share their experiences with the prime minister.
Women SHGs aided by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana, NRLM, Uttar Pradesh, will hand over a cheque to the prime minister for contribution to the 'Bharat Ke Veer' Fund.