PM Narendra Modi takes a dig at Indira Gandhi, announces sops for coastal Gujarat

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took a dig at former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Somnath, saying that though she had nationalised banks and had said that banks should serve the poor, the poor actually never managed to reach the doors of banks or could open accounts in all these years.

This is perhaps the first time that Modi took a dig at the late Congress leader. The PM attended a meeting of Somnath Trust on the second day of his two-day visit to his home state.

Modi further said that his government decided that banks must open their doors to the poor, and under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, crores of accounts had been opened. “Banks were compelled to establish the rights of the poor people,” Modi said.

The PM also said that the coastal region of Gujarat would receive Rs 45,000 crore from the Sagarmala Yojana scheme. He also reiterated his announcement of converting eight state highways of Gujarat into national highways, detailing how the move would largely benefit Saurashtra.

 

Gujarat is scheduled for assembly elections later this year. This was Modi’s tenth visit to Gujarat as PM since he left the state in May 2014, and his seventh since last August.

During his absence, his handpicked successor Anandi Patel, who succeeded him as chief minister, saw her innings cut short due to the Patidar agitation and the lynching of Dalits in Una. Her successor and another of Modi’s trusted men, Vijay Rupani, is yet to assert his independence.Modi thus remains the sole anchor of his party that has been winning elections in the state since 1995.

While his three successive wins in the assembly elections since 2002 has propelled Modi to contest at the national level in 2014, his exit from the state has also opened the floodgates to the latent anti-incumbency and agitations apart from factionalism within the state unit of the BJP.

 
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