Narendra Modi in Varanasi: PM says trust for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya will work rapidly, govt stands firm on Article 370, CAA

FP Staff

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that a trust formed recently for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will 'work rapidly'. He also reiterated the government's commitment to contentious decisions like the scrapping of Article 370 and the Citizenship Amendment Act, saying that such decisions were taken in national interest.

Speaking at the inauguration of a statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Chandauli, the prime minister said, "A trust has been formed for construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. This trust will work rapidly," He said that after setting up of the trust, the work on the construction of 'Ram dham' will begin at a fast pace.

Following a directive from the Supreme Court to form a trust that can look into the construction and management of the temple, the Union government had recently set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra.

He also asserted that the government would remain firm on decisions like the abrogation of Article 370 and the passage of Citizenship Amendment Act, which has triggered wide-spread protests across the country.

"Be it the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir or CAA, the country waited for decisions on these (issues) for years," PTI quoted him as saying. "These decisions were necessary in the interest of the nation. Duniya bhar ke saarey dabaon ke bawjood, inn faislon par hum qayam hain, qayam rahengey (Despite pressure from all sides, we remain  firm on the decisions and will continue to remain firm," Modi said.

Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by the government in August last year.

The prime minister earlier launched or laid the foundation of 50 projects worth Rs 1,254 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency.

He also flagged off IRCTC's 'Maha Kaal Express' through video link during his day-long visit to the city. It will be the first overnight private train in the country to connect three Jyotirling pilgrimage centres of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Ujjain and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking about Varanasi, he said the government has spent Rs 25,000 crore for the development of the city in the last five years. Roadways, highways, waterways and railways have been given top priority by the government and work on the Purvanchal Expressway was going on at fast speed in Uttar Pradesh, he said.

He said that it was small cities like Varanasi which had benefited most from the schemes made by the Centre, adding that such cities would contribute more to the country's development than metro cities.

"Small cities like Varanasi and other Tier-I and Tier-II cities, will add new chapters in the story of the nation's development. Contribution of these small cities will be greater than metro cities," said Modi . "It is these small cities that have benefited more due to the schemes implemented by the Centre," he added.

The prime minister also laid emphasis on better connectivity of heritage and religious sites, saying that tourism will be the main source of making the country 5 trillion dollar economy.

"Tourism plays an integral part in achieving a USD 5 trillion economy in the country. Heritage tourism has a strong role to play in achieving the goal.  Along with Varanasi, other holy sites are also being developed with the help of new technologies," he said.

The prime minister unveiled a 63-foot statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya €" the tallest statue of the RSS ideologue in the country and dedicated to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre.

"The soul of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay gives us encouragement. We are working for uplift of the Dalits, the deprived and other sections of society. And this is what Upadhyay's 'Antyoday' says - to give all facilities to last beneficiary in the queue," Modi said.

The prime minister also inaugurated 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek', a cultural arts and handicrafts exhibition showcasing the works of over 10,000 artisans from across the state.

Earlier in the day, Modi participated in the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of the Shri Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul and released the translated version of the Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth in 19 languages and its mobile application. Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minster Yogi Adityanath and Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa were present on the occasion.

At the event, Modi emphasised upon the need to buy indigenous products and said that the mentality that whatever is imported is of a superior quality needs to be changed.

Modi also inaugurated a 430-bed super-specialty government hospital in Varanasi.

With inputs from agencies

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