Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that “those conspiring” against him would bite the dust, even as he described the preceding UPA government as “anti-development” and “incapable of taking the right policy decisions”.
On his first visit to his native town, Vadnagar, after becoming the Prime Minister in May 2014 — he last came here seven years ago — Modi invoked Lord Shiva to hit out at opponents, saying the blessings of ‘Bhole Baba’ had given him the strength to deal with those who had spewed venom against him since 2001.
Modi, who offered prayers at the ancient Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple in Vadnagar, said, “The blessings of Bhole Baba (Lord Shiva) gave me the strength to consume and digest the poison. As a result, I was able to counter all those who spewed venom against me since 2001. This ability gave me the strength to serve the motherland with dedication over these many years.”
“I am Modi. I have risen from the land of Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. So it does not matter how many thieves come and go, ultimately truth and honesty will win,” he warned.
Throughout his 30-minute address, Modi did not name Congress, but tersely described the administration it led at the Centre as “anti-development”. “You will be surprised to know the way the country was ruled earlier. It was only when Atal Bihari Vajpayee become the PM that a health policy was framed,” Modi said.
“But the subsequent government that ruled for 10 years despised the idea of development. It was insensitive to the well-being of people. But we have now come out with a new health policy,” Modi said, launching the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush’ to accelerate full immunisation coverage plan.
It was an emotional homecoming for Narendra Modi as he returned to his birthplace Vadnagar after seven years on Sunday. Modi got a rousing welcome from thousands of people, who had lined up all along a seven-kilometre barricaded stretch of road — from the Gunja air strip to Vadnagar —to greet him.
Women showered him with flowers, and some people were even seen running alongside his cavalcade in a bid to to capture him on their smartphones. It was a poignant moment as Modi made an unscheduled stop near B N High School, his alma mater.
He got down from his car, kneeled to the ground, picked up some soil from the school compound and applied tilak twice on his forehead. It was an emotional moment for the son of the soil as well as his old friends and acquaintances as he greeted them amid a cheering crowd.
Reminiscing about his childhood, Modi said, “On the way to Hatkeshwar temple, I saw many known faces. I saw some of my old friends, some have lost their teeth and some were walking with the help of sticks. Memories of my childhood have come afresh.”