(Eds: Adds details) Ahmedabad, Sep 17 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi improved the lives of 60 crore poor people in the country after assuming office and also enhanced India's stature on the world stage.
Shah, while greeting the prime minister on his 70th birthday, said under his leadership the country saw the launch of a string of welfare programmes for various sections of the society, especially the poor.
What the Congress could not do for the poor in its 70 -year rule, Modi did it in just five years, Shah said and wished the PM a long life so that he can continue to 'serve the nation'.
The Lok Sabha MP from Gandhinagar was speaking while attending an event here through video conferencing.
The Gujarat government on Thursday launched several schemes and development projects to celebrate Modi's 70th birthday.
Shah attended the ground-breaking ceremony of a 24X7 water supply project for Gandhinagar city through video- conference from AIIMS, Delhi, said state BJP media coordinator Prashant Vala.
Shah was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on September 12 for post-COVID-19 care.
In his speech, the home minister said citizens of the country made Modi the PM in 2014 due to numerous pro-people works he had done as the chief minister of Gujarat.
'After Modiji became the prime minister, crores of people, around 60 crore poor citizens received electricity connections, gas connections, toilets, bank accounts and better health care under the Prime Minister Jan Aarogya scheme,' Shah said.
'Modiji improved the lives of 60 crore poor citizens.
What the Congress couldn't do in 70 years of its rule, Modiji did it in just five years.
'He also strengthened our security by ordering surgical as well as air strikes. He has put India on the forefront of the world map,' the senior BJP leader said.
Meanwhile, the project, whose ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Shah, will provide drinking water round-the- clock to nearly seven lakh people of Gandhinagar city and surrounding areas.
It is a part of the Smart City project and would be complete in 36 months at a cost of Rs 229 crore, a government release said.
Apart from construction of filtration plants, the project encompasses laying water pipelines having total length of 27 kilometres, it said.
To encourage judicious use of water, meters will also be installed for each connection.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on completion of the project, Gandhinagar will become the first city in the country to provide 24X7 drinking water to every household.
The water project was part of the schemes launched by the Gujarat government to celebrate Modi's birthday.
Other schemes and projects were launched by Rupani through video conferencing. These included a scheme wherein farmers would be encouraged through financial assistance to opt for cow-based organic farming.
Gujarat ministers, MLAs and other leaders attended the event from 70 different places in all the 33 districts across the state, the release said.
The CM also launched another scheme of providing kits to farmers to make 'Jivamrut', a natural fertiliser.
Later, Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel launched a water supply project for 205 villages of Narmada and Tapi districts, said the release.
The government also unveiled a scheme to provide loans worth Rs 1,000 crore to 10 lakh women to start their own business, it added. PTI PJT PDGK RSY RSY