Cow is mother, sacred to us, says PM Modi

This is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second visit to the holy city within 10 days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said cow is mother and sacred to many people and those who find this as “sin” don’t realise that livelihood of crores of people depends on cattle.

The Prime Minister was addressing the rally after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of 27 projects worth ₹2,095 crore in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, just months ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Taking a jibe at rival parties, he said those making jokes on cows and buffaloes forget that the livelihood of crores of people depends on “pashudhan” (livestock).

“Cow is mother and sacred to us,” he said, adding that some find it as “sin”.

In an apparent attack on the Samajwadi Party, Mr. Modi said their dictionary contains “mafiavad” and “parivarvad”.

“For us, the priority is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi launches slew of development projects in Varanasi

This is Mr. Modi’s second visit to the holy city within 10 days.

After arriving Varanasi in the morning on Thursday, he laid the foundation stone of the ‘Banas Dairy Sankul’ at the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Karkhiyaon.

Spread across 30 acres, the dairy will be built at a cost of about ₹475 crore and would process about 5 lakh litre milk per day, according to officials.

This will strengthen the rural economy and help the farmers of the region by creating new opportunities for them, they said.

The prime minister also digitally transferred a bonus of about Rs 35 crore to the bank accounts of more than 1.7 lakh milk producers associated with the Banas Dairy. He also laid the foundation stone for a biogas-based electricity generation plant for a Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union plant in Varanasi’s Ramnagar.

Mr. Modi also launched a portal and a logo dedicated to the Conformity Assessment Scheme of milk products developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) with the help of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

The unified logo, featuring both the BIS logo and the NDDB quality mark, will simplify the certification process for the dairy sector and reassure the public about dairy product quality.

In another effort to reduce the number of land ownership issues at the grassroots level, the Prime Minister virtually distributed the rural residential rights record, “Gharauni”, under the Swamitva scheme of the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj to over 20 lakh residents of the state.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated multiple urban development projects, including six for the redevelopment of Old Kashi wards, a parking-and-surface park at Beniabag, beautification of two ponds, a sewage treatment plant in Ramna village and the provisioning of advanced surveillance cameras at 720 locations under the Smart City Mission.

Projects in the education sector inaugurated by the prime minister include the Union Education Ministry’s Inter University Centre for Teachers Education, built at a cost of around ₹107 crore, and a teachers’ education centre at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, built at a cost of over ₹7 crore.

Further, residential flats and staff quarters at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and the ITI, Karaundi were also inaugurated by the prime minister.

He also inaugurated a project comprising a doctors’ hostel, a nurses’ hostel and a shelter home, built at ₹130 crore, at the Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre, a 50-bed Integrated Ayush Hospital at Bhadrasi.

Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone of the ₹49 crore Government Homeopathic Medical College in Pindra tehsil under the Ayush Mission.

In the road sector, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for widening four-lane roads to six lanes for Prayagraj and Bhadohi. This will improve the connectivity of Varanasi and will be a step towards resolving the problem of the city’s traffic congestion.

To give a fillip to the tourism potential of the holy city, the prime minister inaugurated the first phase of the tourism development project related to the Shri Guru Ravidas Ji Temple, Seer Govardhan, Varanasi. Other projects inaugurated by the prime minister include a speed breeding facility at the International Rice Research Institute, the South Asia Regional Centre, Varanasi, a regional reference standards laboratory in Payakpur village and an advocate building in Pindra tehsil.

The Prime Minister was in Varanasi on December 13 too when he inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.

He had also attended the conclave of chief ministers the next day. The Prime Minister inaugurated the All India Mayors’ Conference held here on December 17 via video conferencing in the pilgrim city.

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