Modi visits Varanasi after 'unprecedented mandate', says Maa Ganga has adopted him

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being received at the Kisan Samman Sammelan in Varanasi, Tuesday, June 18, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being received at the Kisan Samman Sammelan in Varanasi, Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Varanasi (UP) | Visiting his Varanasi constituency which elected him to the Lok Sabha for a third consecutive time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said it appears that mother Ganga has now adopted him.

Addressing a PM Kisan Samman Sammelan at Mehndiganj here, he said the mandate given by the people in this Lok Sabha election is "truly unprecedented and has created history".

"I consider farmers, women, the youth and the poor strong pillars of 'Viksit Bharat' (developed India)," Modi said on his first visit to his constituency after the Lok Sabha polls and added that the first decision of the new government related to farmers and the poor.

He won from Varanasi with a reduced margin of 1,52,513 votes in these polls. In 2019, the margin was about 4.8 lakh.

"The people of Varanasi have not only chosen me as MP for a third time but also as prime minister," Modi said at the event where he released the Rs 20,000-crore 17th installment of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KSN) for more than 9.26 crore farmers.

After being sworn-in as prime minister, Modi signed his first file authorising the release of this installment of the scheme.

Referring to his reelection from the constituency in Uttar Pradesh, he said, "With the blessings of Baba Vishwanath and Maa Ganga, and the immense love of the people of Kashi, I have got the privilege of becoming the country's 'pradhan sevak' for the third time."

He said the people of Kashi have blessed him by electing him as their representative for the third consecutive time and added that "'ab to Maa Ganga ne bhee jaise mujhe god le liya hai, main yaheen ka ho gaya hoon (Now, it seems as if Mother Ganga has also adopted me, I have become part of this place)".

It is very rare in democratic countries for governments to be elected for a third consecutive term but the people of India did this, he said.

More than 64 crore people voted in this election, Modi said and added that there is no bigger election than this in the whole world.

"I recently went to Italy to attend the G7 meeting and even if we add all the voters of all these G7 nations, the number of voters in India is one and a half times more than that number," he said.

"Even if we add all the countries of Europe, the number of voters in India will be two and a half time more than that number," the prime minister said.

He said more than 31 crore women participated in this election, the highest anywhere in the world. "This number is close to the entire population of the US," Modi said.

"This the beauty of India's democracy and this power of India's democracy attracts the entire world as well as impacts it," he said.

Thanking people for gathering in large numbers for the event, Modi said, "This election for the 18th Lok Sabha in India presents with full strength to the world the vastness of the Indian democracy, the strength of the Indian democracy, the comprehensiveness of the Indian democracy and the depth of the roots of the Indian democracy."

On his government being given a third term, he said this happened in India 60 years ago. Since then no government in India has scored a hat-trick like this, Modi, who in the evening took part in the Ganga aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat and offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple here, said.

"In a country like India where the youth's aspirations are so high, where the people have so many dreams, if people give a government an opportunity to serve after 10 years of work, then it is a great victory, a great trust," the prime minister said.

"This trust of yours is my biggest asset. This trust of yours inspires me to work hard to take the country to new heights," Modi said.

He added, "I will work hard day and night. I will make every effort to fulfil your dreams and your aspirations."

Modi also asserted that agriculture will play a big role in making 21st century India third largest economic power in the world.

"Now, we have to take the country to new heights in the global market of packaged food. My dream is that there should be some food products from India on every dining table in the world," he said. He also said production of 'zero defect' food items should be encouraged.

Noting the presence of women in large numbers, Modi underlined their importance and support in agriculture and said, "Without mothers and sisters, it is impossible to imagine farming."

"Therefore, now the role of mothers and sisters is being expanded in giving a new direction to agriculture. Like Namo Drone Didi, the Krishi Sakhi programme is one such effort," he said.

Modi said decisions like building more than three crore houses for poor families or extending the PM Kisan Samman scheme across the country will help many. "Today's programme will strengthen the path to 'Viksit Bharat'," he said.

He highlighted that the Rs 20,000 crore of the PM-KSN installment has reached the accounts of the crores of farmers across the country through direct benefit transfer (DBT).

"Today, the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi has become the biggest DBT scheme in the world. Till now, Rs 3.25 lakh crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of crores of farmers of the country, and Rs 700 crore has been transferred to families of farmers in Varanasi alone. I am happy that technology was used to better deliver the benefits of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi to beneficiaries," Modi said.

Today, a big step has also been taken towards making three crore women "lakhpati didis", Modi said and added that "the new role of our sisters as Krishi Sakhi will not only ensure them a source of income but also respect".

He also credited the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra that enabled more than one crore farmers to register themselves under the PM-KSN. Rules and regulations have been simplified to increase accessibility to the scheme, Modi said.

To serve the people and take the country to new heights, he said he will work hard and make every effort to fulfil "your dreams and aspirations".

Modi was welcomed by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, and deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak among others at the event.

After the event in Mehndiganj, around 22 km from the main city, Modi reached the Police Lines by helicopter and then went to the Dashashwamedh Ghat for the aarti. Patel and Adityanath were present there.

The aarti was performed amid the chants of vedic mantras by priests and those part of it took pledges of "I will keep Maa Ganga and India clean and pure" and of conserving water.

Modi was welcomed with the chants 'Har Har Mahadev', blowing of conches and drum beats.

During the sammelan, he said Kashi has shown the world that "this heritage city can also write a new chapter (adhyaay) of urban development."

"Our Kashi has been the capital of culture. Our Kashi has been the capital of knowledge. Our Kashi has been the capital of 'sarvavidya' (all forms of knowledge)," Modi said.

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