Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said development was the solution to all the problems in the country and accused the previous governments of destroying the public exchequer in their bid to win elections. Modi, who is on his first visit to Varanasi after the BJP's landslide victory in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in March this year, also launched several development projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore for his Lok Sabha constituency.
He inaugurated the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul - a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts and crafts museum - constructed at a cost of Rs 300 crore. Referring to development projects for weavers, who constitute a major chunk of the population in the city, Modi said his government wants their works to be showcased globally so as to enhance their economic prospects.
At the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, Modi evinced keen interest in the wooden and glass products on display and talked to the rural artisans to encourage them.
The PM also flagged off, via a video link, the Mahamana Express train to connect Varanasi with Vadodara and Surat in Gujarat, his home state. The Mahamana Express with plush interiors -- built under the 'Make in India' initiative -- currently runs on two routes, Varanasi-New Delhi and Bhopal-Khajuraho. The new weekly train will run from Varanasi every Friday and from Vadodara every Wednesday. The 1,531-km journey between the two cities is expected to take about 28 hours.
Modi also inaugurated banking services of the Utkarsh Bank and unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the headquarters building of the bank which specializes in micro-finance.
As it happened:
PM Narendra Modi offered prayers at Durga Mata temple in Varanasi pic.twitter.com/ZBHYKPY25D— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2017
7:35pm: The life and ideals of Lord Rama inspire everyone, says PM Narendra Modi
7:30pm: Stamps have a special place in society. They are a wonderful way to preserve our history: PM Modi
7:25pm: PM Narendra Modi releases postage stamp on the Ramayana
07:15pm: PM Modi visits Tulsi Manas temple. UP Governor Ram Naik and UP CM Adityanath also visit Tulsi Manas Mandir.
05:27pm: PM Modi ends his speech.
05:24pm: PM Modi appeals autorickshaw drivers to bring domestic and foreign tourists visiting Kashi to the centre
05:26pm: It is our endeavour to transform lives of the poor, to empower them and focus on such development.
05:22pm: Solution to all problem is Vikas. Get tourists to Kashi to boost economy.
05:18pm: We are focusing on such development which can empower the poor.
05:17pm: The Centre will open new door of opportunities for craftsmen, weavers and provide global market to their handicraft item.
05:17pm: Never in decades has foundation stone for such a mega project been laid on Varanasi soil.
05:16pm: I compliment the UP Government for their focus on the development of the state and the attention to eastern UP.
05:16pm: Initiatives to create global market for weavers and artists: Prime Minister Modi in Varanasi.
05:15pm: Our weavers need a global market and that will enhance their economic prospects significantly.
05:12pm: I am thankful to the government of Uttar Pradesh for undertaking the numerous development projects in Varanasi: PM Modi
05:10pm: Projects worth over Rs. 1000 crore are either being inaugurated or their foundation stones are being laid: PM Modi
05:07pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins address in Varanasi
05:00pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the Mahamana Express connecting Vadodara to Varanasi through video link. The train will arrive from Vadodara to Varanasi tomorrow
04:59pm: PM inaugurates banking services of Utkarsh Bank that specialises in micro finance. He also unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the bank's headquarters.
04:55pm: PM Narendra Modi felicitates weavers and handicraft workers in the presence of CM Yogi Adityanath and Union minister Smriti Irani
04:45pm: Projects that people of Varanasi had lost hope of are being brought back to life by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressing the gathering
04:20 pm: Next on PM Modi's itenary is the inauguration of nearly 17 infrastructure projects, including the Ramnagar-Samne Ghat bridge and the Balua Ghat bridge, and laying foundation of nearly six projects to help keep the Ganga clean.
Varanasi: PM Narendra Modi to launch several development projects; UP CM Yogi Adityanath also present pic.twitter.com/VRCEHf8gtJ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2017
04:10 pm: The Deendayal Hastkala Sankul is the second phase of the trade facilitation centre for weavers and handicraft workers in Bada-Lalpur. It is named after RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Bada Lalpur,Varanasi: PM at newly inaugurated Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, trade facilitation centre for handicrafts;Smriti Irani also present pic.twitter.com/g05U81ohDG— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2017
04:00 pm: PM Modi inaugurates Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts, in Bada Lalpur.
Varanasi: PM Modi inaugurates Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts, in Bada Lalpur. pic.twitter.com/r2NhT03GTU— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2017
03:35 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomed Prime MInister Modi at the airport. He was accompanied by other dignitaries as well
03:30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Varanasi on two-day visit. He will inaugurate several infrastructure projects in his Lok Sabha constituency.
PM Narendra Modi arrives in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi; will be launching several development projects. pic.twitter.com/Xx2EdCPIX9— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 22, 2017