Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday targeted previous governments over delayed projects and vote-bank politics, and said his government has ushered in a "new work culture". He was speaking before a huge gathering at Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli district after inaugurating a hospital in the town and launching projects worth more than Rs 4,800 crore in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. He inaugurated or laid the foundation stones for 96 projects including flyovers, health centres, schools, beach development, water supply, an auditorium and a sports complex.
The centrally-funded 'NAMO Medical Education & Research Institute' in Silvassa which he inaugurated is the union territory's first medical college, built at a cost of Rs 203 crore. In his speech, Modi noted that he had laid the foundation stone for this medical college in 2019.
"Earlier, government projects for which foundation stones were laid were delayed for years. But we brought in a new work culture in the past nine years. We try to finish all projects for which we lay the foundation stone," said the prime minister. The focus of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is to ensure balanced development of every region, he said. "But unfortunately, for several decades vote-bank politics prevailed over the need for development. Projects were announced for a region only after calculating how many votes it can fetch and which class would vote if the project was implemented. As a result, those who could not make their voice heard got left behind," Modi said. Tribals, fisherfolk and people living in border areas fell behind because of this vote-centric approach to development, he claimed.
The union territory and its people also suffered due to this way of functioning, the prime minister added.
"This medical college is testimony to the injustice meted out to the people of this region. This is the first medical college that has come up in the union territory," he said. Without naming any party, the prime minister said those who ruled for decades after independence never thought about the injustice faced by the local youth. "Previous governments never paid attention because this region is small. But, as soon as you gave me the chance in 2014, we started working with dedication and that is the reason this union territory today got its first medical college, where 150 local youths will be given admission every year. In a few years, this college will churn out nearly 1,000 doctors. And many of them will be local tribal youths," said the PM. A 300-bed hospital was under construction at Daman town of the Union Territory, he said. Referring to a recent change in policy, Modi said that medical and engineering students can now study in local languages. "Since these courses were offered only in English earlier, many bright students from Dalit and other downtrodden classes could not become doctors and engineers. But now they have the option to study in their local language. As a result, the son or daughter of a poor woman can now dream of becoming a doctor," the prime minister said. Despite the union territory being relatively small in size, the Centre has spent nearly Rs 5,500 crore on development projects in the last five years while projects worth nearly Rs 5,000 crore were launched on Tuesday, Modi noted. From the stage, the PM also inaugurated 1,200 houses built under the PM Awas Yojna (Urban) and handed over keys to some of the women beneficiaries. "Our focus is 'santushtikaran' (satisfaction), not 'tushtikaran' (appeasement). Those who were left behind are being given priority and efforts are being made to take development to the doorsteps of the downtrodden. When the government itself takes such steps, corruption and nepotism automatically gets eliminated," he said. The PM later reached Daman where he is slated to conduct a 16-kilometer-long roadshow along a newly developed seafront.
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