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From Patna to Amethi: Modi flays Oppn, unveils several development projects

twitter-logoPTI | March 3, 2019 | Updated 22:42 IST

(Eds: Combining two rallies) Amethi/Patna, Mar 3 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday addressed rallies in political crucial states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and slammed the opposition for doubting the IAF air strike in Pakistan and trying to "finish" him off while he works for development of the country. In his first visit to Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, since coming to power in 2014, Modi inaugurated a manufacturing unit for AK-203 rifles, an India-Russia joint venture. Modi, who landed after addressing a rally some 350 km away in Bihar's Patna, said that Amethi, which has traditionally been loyal to the Gandhi family, was the best example of his 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (together with all, development for all) motto and his government has done full justice to the constituency in terms of the development. "We were not able to win elections the last time (2014) but won your hearts. Smritiji worked for the development here and did more work than that done by the one who (Rahul Gandhi) has won from here," he said, referring to Union minister Smriti Irani who unsuccessfully contested the last election from Amethi. "Those who voted for us and those who did not, all are ours...This is the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," Modi said. The Congress president has been alleging that his constituency was receiving step-motherly treatment from the Centre with various projects being stalled since the BJP-led government came to power. The prime minister, who announced development projects worth Rs 538 crore for the constituency, said Amethi will get a new identity now and be known by the new venture of AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles which will be made at the Korba ordnance factory here. The AK-203 will replace the INSAS rifles being used by the Army and other forces. The immediate target is to produce 7,00,000 AK-203 rifles in the facility, official sources said. "The AK-203 rifles will be manufactured in Amethi under Russia-India joint venture...these rifles will be known as 'made in Amethi' and will help our jawans in encounters with naxals and terrorists," Modi said. In a message read out by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Russian President Vladmir Putin said the joint venture will be able to fulfil Indian security agencies' requirement for small arms. Without naming Rahul Gandhi, Modi said, "Some people go around giving speeches of 'made in Ujjain', 'made in Jaipur', 'made in Jaisalmer'...this is Modi. Now 'Made in Amethi' will be AK-203 rifles. It will help our jawans." He said the rifles will be made in bulk and exported also, thus presenting employment opportunities to the local youths. Modi alleged the previous government sat on the Rafale deal for years. "When our government assumed office, we finalised it in one-and-a-half years...and the first Rafale aircraft will be in our skies soon," he added. In Patna, where he shared the stage with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a political rally first time since winning the 2014 elections, Modi said the opposition parties were speaking a language that "suits" Pakistan. "Leaders of the neighbouring country are using it as a shield to protect themselves against the charge of promoting terrorism. They are clapping gleefully," Modi said. He said there seemed to be a competition among the opposition parties led by the Congress for hurling abuse at the "Chowkidar". "But the people of the country have made up their minds. They are going to punish these parties once again and teach them a few more lessons." The two states jointly send 120 members to the 545-member Lok Sabha. In 2014 elections, the BJP-led NDA had won majority of seats in the states. At the Patna rally, Modi also questioned the opposition over their February 27 resolution expressing "deep anguish" over the ruling party's "blatant politicisation" of the sacrifices made by the armed forces. "When the country needed to speak in one voice, 21 opposition parties gathered in Delhi to adopt a resolution condemning us. They are demanding proof from the armed forces for their act of bravery," he stated. Without naming Congress chief, who has coined the slogan "Chowkidar chor hai" (the watchman is the thief), Modi said, "Those who run their political shops in the name of the poor and care for nothing except for their dynasties, are having problems with the chowkidar. But the chowkidar is alert and on the job." Modi also took a veiled dig at jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, saying, "The people of Bihar have seen a lot in the name of purchase of fodder. Our government has worked for doing away with middlemen who siphon off public money." The NDA government is working on all departments including roadways, railways and airways to improve infrastructure in Bihar, he said. Modi also spoke about India's rising stock in the eyes of Islamic countries which he said was reflected in the increased quota for Haj pilgrims and Saudi Arabia agreeing to free more than 800 migrants lodged in its jails. He said the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour at the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation conference exemplified that. "Such an honour was bestowed on India after five decades during which mostly the Congress and its allies were in power. Why the voice of India was not heard in Islamic nations during that period?" "My government is taking care of the concerns of every section of the society," he said. PTI NAC AR SAB SK RMS TIR TIR

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