Reiterating his government’s commitment to the welfare of the poorer section of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that he suffered pains accruing from poverty and therefore, he understands the predicament of the underprivileged section.
“I’m proud of being son of a poor mother. Poverty has given me honesty and courage,” PM Modi thundered while addressing an event in Lucknow marking the third anniversary of three key schemes of his govt -Smart City Mission, AMRUT and PMAY (Urban).
In an indirect reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of the prime minister being a “bhaagidar” in the alleged Rafale scam, PM Modi said he was proud to be a “bhaagidar” of the pain of poor people and labourers of the country.
“Allegations have been made that I'm a "Bhaagidaar' and not a 'chowkidar'. I'm proud of being a 'bhaagidar' of the pain and sufferings of poor people. I'm bhaagidar of the pain of farmers and labourers,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said that his government was committed to provide a roof over everyone's head by the year 2022.
“Keeping that target in mind, 54 lakh new houses were approved in urban areas in last three years. Even in villages, more than 1 crore houses have been handed over to people,” he said.
“The houses that are being made today are equipped with toilets, electricity under saubhagya yojana, LED bulbs under Ujala scheme,” he added.
The prime minister further said that his government is committed to create systems for future generations wherein lives will be based on five Es- Ease of Living, Education, Employment, Economy and Entertainment.
Talking about his vision of smart cities, the prime minister said that it will make the lives of poor better.
“Smart City is not only a project but a mission. The mission will prepare our cities of New India to face the challenges of 21st century, to create world-class intelligent urban centres in India,” he added.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi arrived in Lucknow on a two-day visit to the city.
Before attending the event on "Transforming Urban Landscape", he visited an exhibition on Flagship Missions of Urban Development. He also interacted with 35 beneficiaries of PMAY (Urban), one from each state and union territory. PM Modi also received feedback from PMAY beneficiaries, via video link, from different cities of Uttar Pradesh
On Sunday, PM Modi will attend a ground-breaking ceremony for projects involving an investment of Rs. 60,000 crore. These projects were finalised during the UP Investors Summit that was held early this year.
This is PM Modi's third visit to Uttar Pradesh in a month in run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, signifying the importance being attached to the state, which has 80 parliamentary seats. He had visited Varanasi, Azamgarh and Mirzapur districts of Uttar Pradesh on July 14 and 15. He had visited Sant Kabir Nagar on June 28.
Watch: Poverty gave me honesty and courage, says PM Modi