Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he meets industrialists openly. Launching 81 investment projects worth over Rs 60,000 crore in Lucknow, Modi said, “My conscience is clear.”
The projects were announced during the Uttar Pradesh Investor’s Summit in February. Several industrialists, including Adani Group chairperson Gautam Adani, Essel Group chairperson Subhash Chandra and Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chief Minister Adityanath and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, attended Sunday’s ceremony.
Modi drew parallels between himself and Mahatma Gandhi, and said the latter used to stay at industrialist Birla’s house during the freedom struggle. “I am not the kind who is scared of being seen with industrialists,” Modi said. “There are those who do not want to meet them in public, but only behind curtains.”
The prime minister said Uttar Pradesh will soon evolve into a trillion dollar economy. He promised that 2.1 lakh jobs would be created in the state, but did not give any timeline for it. He added that projects worth Rs 50,000 crore were in the pipeline.
“I call this a record-breaking ceremony,” Modi said. “The manner in which development works have been carried out in such a short span of time has never been seen in Uttar Pradesh.” This is the prime minister’s fifth visit in one month to the state, which plays an important role in the 2019 General Elections.
Modi also praised Adityanath for his “holistic vision and inclusive action”. The prime minister said Uttar Pradesh was home to 50 mobile manufacturing units and that the country is soon becoming a hub for cellphone manufacturing.
The prime minister took a jibe at his critics by claiming that he had only four years to achieve goals that others had 70 years for.
Ahead of the launch of the investment projects, the Samajwadi Party took to social media to criticise the ruling government. In a video clip, the Opposition party rebuked the BJP for “failing to fulfill the promises” it had made in its 2017 Assembly election manifesto.
The Samajwadi Party poked fun at the BJP by using a song with the lyrics “tumhara intezaar hai [waiting for you]” to drive home its point. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused Modi of misleading the public about developments.