Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched schemes and projects worth nearly Rs 49,200 crore in Jharkhand’s Khunti, the birthplace of revered tribal icon Birsa Munda, but didn’t mention anything about the long-standing demand of the tribals for a separate Sarna dharma code in his over 40-minute speech.
Modi, who had reached Ranchi late on Tuesday evening, visited the Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park and Freedom Fighter Museum in Ranchi on Wednesday morning and paid tributes at the statue of Birsa.
He then left for Birsa’s birthplace Ulihatu in Khunti district, nearly 63km from Ranchi, on a chopper and paid tributes to the tribal icon besides meeting some of his descendants.
Later, addressing a function at the Birsa Munda football ground to mark the launch of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, the Prime Minister claimed that much work had been done in the last 10 years as against several decades of earlier governments.
The Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra aims to cover all districts of the country by January 25, spreading awareness and providing benefits of the Centre’s welfare schemes.
“Much work has been done for the four pillars of Amrit Kaal — women, farmers, youths and middle & poor class — in the last 10 years as against several decades of work done by earlier governments. More than 13 crore people have come out of poverty in five years. The previous governments considered itself as mai-baap of the masses while we are working as servants of the people. It was Modi who took care of the underprivileged who were deprived of basic facilities for so many years,” Modi said.
Modi continued to pat his back by stating that his government had pioneered direct benefit transfers to beneficiaries and there was no place for middlemen as was prevalent during earlier governments. He released Rs 18,000 crore (Rs 2,000 for each beneficiary) as the 15th instalment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi at the event.
The Prime Minister also launched a Rs 24,000-crore mission that claims to ensure social justice to the primitive vulnerable tribal groups.
“Under the Prime Minister Janjatiye Adivasi Nyay Mahaabhiyan, known as PM Jan Man, basic facilities such as road and telecom connectivity, electricity, safe housing, clean drinking water and sanitation, improved access to education, health and nutrition and sustainable livelihood opportunities will be provided to PVTG habitations, which are mostly remote, scattered and inaccessible,” Modi said.
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, who was present at the programme, tried to give a reality check and said the gap between the rich and poor had not been bridged even though the country had reached the moon.