With days to go for the Gujarat Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning in Palanpur, an area which the Congress won with a margin of over 17,000 votes in 2017, pitched five Ps —paryatan, paryavaran, paani, pashudhan, ane poshan (tourism, environment, water, animal husbandry and nutrition) — as the way forward for the development of the state.
“I remember that during a speech at the Vibrant Gujarat summit in 2004, our former president APJ Abdul Kalam had expressed his concern that India, despite such great cultural heritage, ranked 30th in the world in terms of tourism. This needs to change… If I talk about Gujarat, it has created new possibilities of development. At Dharoi, the Narmada river flows into the Sardar Sarovar dam, but no one thought it to be as an area that can be developed for tourism. However, now, with the Statue of Unity, thousands of tourists from across the world come here,” the Prime Minister said.
He added: “To make a 500-room hotel, crores of rupees are needed but we started the initiative of homestays. 500 such establishments are there near the statue. Today, tourists can live at people’s homes, ensuring income (for the homestay proprietors)… So many people have also kept a taxi with their homestays so that they can organise a tour for the visitors. A new business has been set up around the Statue of Unity. Imagine what can be done here (in Palanpur),” PM Modi said.
Addressing the issue of animal welfare, the PM stated, “Everyone knows about the free Covid vaccines we gave out but not many have an idea about the free vaccination drive that we carry out for animals. We spend Rs 13,000 crore to free them of diseases.”
Asking the people to think about the future when they go to exercise their franchise, Modi said: “When you go to vote, consider your future for the next 25 years. Your future will be ensured by Gujarat’s bright future for the next 25 years. The work that has been undertaken in the sphere of infrastructure will provide great support to Banaskantha. Big warehouses and cold storages will be set up as entire North Gujarat’s goods, which will be shipped from the ports of Kandla, Mundra or Mumbai, will be via the logistics hub at Banaskantha and Palanpur… As a result, the bright days of north Gujarat through economic progress…. is in your hands. You have to make the lotus bloom, make the government stronger and we will bring zabardast parivartan (extraordinary change).”
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