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Non-cooperation by SP govt delayed beautification project in Varanasi: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday claimed that “non-cooperation” by the previous Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh was responsible for the delay in start of a beautification project in his Lok Sabha constituency.

He was addressing a gathering in Varanasi after laying the foundation stone for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple’s approach road and its beautification. “In the first three years there was non-cooperation of the state government. The developmental projects here took pace after you (people of Uttar Pradesh) made Yogi Adityanath the chief minister,” he said. “Had there been cooperation earlier, we would have launched the project instead of laying the foundation,” Modi said.

 

Attacking previous governments, the prime minister said, “In the past 70 years no government thought of Baba (Lord Shiva) and were silent. They took care of themselves but not of this place.” Noting that it was his “pleasure” to have initiated the work here at Kashi Vishwanath, he said, “I had dreamt for a long time to work for this place. When I was not in politics I came here several times and used to think that something should happen here.

“Bhole Baba ney tai kiya hoga baatein bahut karte ho yahan aao kuch karke dikhao,” (Lord Shiva must have decided that you talk too much, so now you should come here and do something),” he said, adding that due to blessings the fulfillment of his dream has started.

About the beautification project, Modi said this is “mukti (freedom) for Kashi Vishwanath Dham” which was surrounded with encroachment. “For the first time, we acquired nearby buildings, removed encroachments after which 40 ancient temples came to the fore. Many of them were encroached, kitchens were set up and people were living there,” he said.

Stating that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was “targeted by enemies”, he said they tried to destroy it but it again took “rebirth due to the faith” of people. “When Gandhiji came here, he was pained why is this place is like this. In his address in the BHU, he expressed his thoughts,” Modi said, suggesting the university should make the entire project a case study for research so that when it is completed the world can know how it happened.

“We will also try to trace the history of 40 temples discovered here and the government will also take care of them,” the PM said, adding the project will be a model for “protection and preservation” of temples and a combination of modern technology with ancient faith.

“It will give new identity to Kashi in the world. Maybe it’s in my fate. In 2014, when I came here I said ‘mai aaya nahi mujhe bulaya hai’ (I did not come here on my own, I was summoned). Maybe I came here for this work,” he said.