Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday claimed that previous governments ruled “like sultanates and neglected the countries rich heritage”, PTI reported. The prime minister made the statement at an event in Odisha, where he launched several projects worth over Rs 1,550 crore in Odisha.

His visit comes months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly elections slated in Odisha later this year.

He said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration has prioritised the conservation and preservation of India’s cultural heritage as well as the process of modernistion. “They [past governments] ignored our glorious civilization and failed to pay attention to their preservation,” Modi said.

Modi flagged off a new train on the Balangir-Bicchupalli railway line and inaugurated a Multi Modal Logistics park in Odisha’s Jharsuguda.

He also inaugurated an electrification project of 813 km of Jharsuguda-Vizinagaram and Sambalpur-Angul lines as well as the doubling of Barpali-Dungaripali and Balangir-Deogaon road line.

The new railway line connects coastal Odisha with its western region. “The Bharatiya Janata Party government is committed towards development of Odisha,” Modi said. “In past one month, I have visited the state three times.”

He also inaugurated six passport offices in the state on Tuesday. Modi inaugurated renovation and restoration projects of the Nilamadhav and Siddheswar temples in Boudh district.

Earlier on Tuesday, Modi made a brief halt at the Raipur airport in Chhattisgarh where he was welcomed by newly elected Congress Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, PTI reported. “It was a warm meeting with the prime minister,” Baghel said. “He [Modi] congratulated me.”

On Monday, Modi had said the projects will have a “transformative impact” on the state’s progress. “There is something special about Odisha, that draws me to the state so often!” he tweeted.

Unidentified officials told PTI that Biju Janata Dal chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will not meet the prime minister because of prior commitments.

The prime minister is scheduled to visit Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala later on Tuesday.