Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday took a swipe at the Congress-led UPA government that ruled the country from 2004 to 2014 for the “slow progress” of work at the rail coach factory in Rae Bareli before 2014.
Rae Bareli is Congress interim president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency.
Modi was addressing the centenary celebrations of the Lucknow University virtually, and said coach production work at the Rae Bareli rail coach factory began only after 2014, when his BJP-led government came to power.
“Examples of how power can be properly used are always available around you. Rae Bareli is headed towards building the world’s largest rail coach factory. Earlier, heavy investment was made for this factory, but no work was done till our government came to power in 2014. Only painting work was going on there before 2014,” the PM said, without taking the UPA’s name.
“We have focused on this factory and coach production work started. Soon, it will be among the world’s largest rail coach factories. This is because of will power and intentions,” Modi said.
The foundation stone for the coach factory was laid in 2007, while construction work started in 2009, under Manmohan Singh’s tenure as PM.
Focus on NEP, future
Modi also placed emphasis on the new National Education Policy (NEP) released by his government in July. “The new education policy focuses on building self-esteem, and mobility,” he said.
He also said the Lucknow University is not just a centre for higher education, but also a powerhouse of character-building. He asked the university administration and students to keep an eye on the future, and see how it will be contributing to India in the 100th year of the country’s independence, in 2047.
One district, one product
The PM also talked about promoting khadi, and how the homespun cloth has done huge business nationally in the last six years.
“I junked all prejudices regarding khadi by associating it with the youth. Today, one single store sells khadi worth crores of rupees in a day because of everyone’s positive thinking and will,” Modi said.
“In 2002, when I was the chief minister of Gujarat, I started the ‘khadi fashion show’ at Porbandar, which is best known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said, adding that it was a successful event that drew people’s attention to khadi.
“In the last six years, khadi has done a larger business in comparison to the previous 20 years (nationally).”
The PM also emphasised on ‘One District One Product’, a UP government programme that aims to promote products and crafts unique to the state.
Citing the examples of the famous ‘chikankari’ embroidery of Lucknow, carpet work of Bhadohi and brass work of Moradabad, Modi said students must come up with innovative ideas to promote such unique items globally.
Modi also released a commemorative postage stamp and coin to mark the university’s centenary.
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