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Education is the best weapon to fight poverty, says PM Modi in Varanasi

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his government's first priority is to eradicate poverty and make poor people self-reliant.He said this while while addressing a function organised by Rickshaw Sangh in his Lok
India TV News Desk September 18, 2015 17:58 IST
India TV News Desk

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his government's first priority is to eradicate poverty and make poor people self-reliant.

He said this while while addressing a function organised by Rickshaw Sangh in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.

Here are major highlights of PM Modi's speech:

* We have opened more than 18 crores accounts in bank

* E-rickshaws will change the future of Varanasi

*  Education is the best (and even the least expensive) way to fight poverty

* I urge all of you (in this gathering), whatever circumstances are, ensure that your children receive education

* E-rickshaws will change the future of Varanasi. When tourists come, the first interactions they have is with rickshaw driver

* Every person wants his or her child to lead a life better than what they led. Every person wants his or her child lead a life of dignity

* Our efforts to remove poverty over the years have not yielded the results we desired. The speed (of removing poverty) needs to improve

* Every person wants his or her child to lead a life of dignity

* How to make the poor of India self-reliant, that should be our main focus

During his visit, PM is expected to launch key schemes relating to power and road sectors, inaugurate a trauma center inside the premises of Banaras Hindu University, and meet agitating Shiksha Mitras  (contractual teacher).

Modi distributed cycle rickshaws and e-rickshaws to more than 600 people under the "Jan Dhan Yojana" scheme

SP government, however, criticised the decision to distribute cycle rickshaws and sough its withdrawal, saying such a move will promote inhuman practice of pulling it.

This is  third such visit of Modi to ancient temple city after assuming office in May last year.

The much-awaited visit comes nearly nine months after his previous trip on December 25 last year.

His earlier proposed tours were cancelled twice lately because of heavy rainfall - on June 28 and on July 16.

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Although the sky is overcast in many parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, causing much consternation among those entrusted with organising the functions to be attended by Modi, the visit may go off unhindered this time since the monsoons have subsided and rainfall in the past few days has never been more than a drizzle lasting a few minutes.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Varanasi in view of the Prime Minister's visit and a team of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is directly responsible for his safety, arrived in the city on Tuesday itself.

Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces is also in place to maintain law and order and control traffic during the nearly seven-hour-long tour of the PM.

The security forces may face a tough challenge on account of thousands of beleaguered "Shiksha Mitras" (contractual teachers) reaching Varanasi to seek an audience with the Prime Minister.

The teachers are upset over the cancellation of regularisation of their service following a recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court, which ruled that the entire exercise being carried out by the Samajwadi Party government in the state was illegal.

ALSO READ: PM Modi likely to visit Varanasi on September 18

The BJP, which won 71 out of 78 Lok Sabha seats it contested in UP last year, is likely to lead an aggressive campaign in the state where it will have to take on the formidable SP alongside Mayawati's BSP in the assembly polls, which are just a little more than a year away.

Modi's visit to this eastern UP town, from where the state's border with Bihar is just about a 100 kms away, may also find political resonance in the neighbouring province where assembly elections have been announced and where the Prime Minister is looking forward to lead his party to victory surmounting a formidable challenge posed by the alliance comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD (U), Lalu Prasad's RJD and Congress.

As the Prime Minister's visit will take place a day after his 66th birthday today, local BJP supporters have come up with a programme to ensure "Swachh (clean) Kashi" as a gift to their leader.

The supporters, acting under the banner of "BJP's Investors Protection Cell", have decided to distribute 660 (ten times the PM's age) dustbins to boatmen ferrying pilgrims and tourists.

Besides, they propose to distribute "hygiene kits" comprising toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo etc.to 6600 (hundred times the PM's age) labourers working in the city.

(With PTI inputs)