Bhubaneswar, June 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government was emphasizing on the development of the economically backward eastern Indian states to uproot poverty in the region.
"We don't want any state or any region in the country to be devoid of development and change. In the western part of India, there is economic development. But, why is there no development in states like Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha," asked Modi addressing a massive gathering at Balasore.
Modi said Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Haryana are more developed states than eastern India states of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Odisha.
Informing that the eastern India states including Odisha are blessed with natural resources, he said people from the region go to western states in search of jobs.
"The states have abundant natural resources. But despite that why is poverty still chasing us. Eastern India needs more development. And that is why all our developmental plans have emphasised on eastern states including Odisha," said the Prime Minister.
In his address, Modi also took a jibe at the previous governments for failing to eradicate poverty in the country.
"The previous government were shouting slogans of 'Garibi Hatao'. Their intentions may have been right. I am not doubting that. But their path was wrong. As a result, poverty increased," said Modi.
Stating that earlier governments thought they are running the country, he said that his government is trying to provide governance with people's participation.
Highlighting various schemes initiated by the central government, Modi said he has come here to present the balance sheet after two years completion in office. "Has any government come here to present the balance sheet of governance in past years? I have come here," he said, adding that the government is accountable for every paisa to the citizens of the country.
Maintaining that the death of mother and child during delivery is a cause of concern, he said the government has launched several schemes to address problems. He said Indra Dhanush Yojana has been implemented for infant immunization across the country.
Speaking on the Beti Bachao Abhiyan, he said people's mindset about gender equality must change. "We are still differentiating between son and daughter. We are living in the 21st century, but at times, our mentality is that of 18th century," said Modi.
In order to empower the poor, he said out of 25 crore families of the county, the government has provided loans to 3,500 crore families to start business under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna. He said the government is committed to electrify every village within 1,000 days. "Our aim is to electrify 18,000 villages in 1,000 days in the country. 7,000 villages were connected with electricity within 300 days and our efforts are on to connect the rest of the villages with power," said the Prime Minister.
Indirectly attacking the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha, he termed it "Soi Hoi Sarkar" (government in deep slumber). "Wherever we are in power there is development, we are not in power in Odisha and you can see the plight of the people here. BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is dedicated for development. BJP has become synonymous with development," said Modi.