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Gandhinagar, Thursday: Global automobile major Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (PCA) signed an agreement with the Government of Gujarat (GoG) to set up an Automobile Manufacturing Plant near Sanand at a cost of Rs.4,000/- Crore in presence of Hon'ble Chief Minister Narendra Modi here today. Minister of State for Industries, Shri Saurabh Patel also graced the occasion.

Welcoming Peugeot's entry in the development of the State, Gujarat Chief Minister expressed the confidence that Gujarat is moving towards becoming a global automobile manufacturing hub. There are very few locations in the world which have major and renowned infrastructure for global trade. This showed that Gujarat had emerged in various sectors apart from a leading investment destination, he added.

Shri Narendra Modi also said that Sanand is also emerging as a major hub for manufacturing and export of automobile parts.

GoG/GIDC & PCA will set up an international level Automotive Skill Development Institute in PPP mode.

The fully integrated manufacturing unit, the first one in India, will be set up on a 584-acre plot. It will encompass a cutting edge vehicle manufacturing facility integrating stamping, body paint and assembly operations with an initial capacity of 165 000 vehicles per year. Additionally, an engine and gearbox plant using the latest and most advanced technologies, which the Peugeot Group is reputed for, will help constitute a full-fledged modern industrial automotive facility. GIDC has reserved another 25-acre land for ancillary industry. PCA envisages exporting 25 per cent of the production, paving the way for Gujarat emerging as an automobile export hub.

This plant will provide direct employment to 5,000 persons and indirect employment to 25,000 persons. The construction near Sanand is scheduled to begin this year end and commissioned by end of 2013.

The Agreements were signed by Gujarat's Principal Secretary for Industry Mr. Maheshwar Sahu and Vice President of Emerging Market Programs & India of Peugeot Citroen Automobiles, Mr. Frédéric Fabre.

“We are proud to announce this new milestone in Peugeot's continued global expansion and to have chosen to grow our Indian roots in the State of Gujarat. We view India as one of the most important and dynamic markets in the world, with forecasts of it becoming the third largest automotive market by 2020. Gujarat offers a proactive business environment, excellent infrastructure and is geographically well-positioned to cater to passenger car markets across India” Said Chairman of Managing Board of PCA, Mr.Philippe Varin. In his address, Hon'ble CM assured all support to PCA for the fast track implementation of the Project.

The trend supports the efforts of Gujarat to become a Global Automobile Manufacturing Hub.

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PM Modi addressed two mega rallies ahead of fourth phase of election in West Bengal’s Siliguri and Krishnanagar. “The entire North Bengal has announced that TMC government is going and BJP government is coming. Today, the entire nation is proud to see the willpower of the people of Bengal. This willpower is of the ‘Ashol Poriborton’. This willpower is the strength of ‘Sonar Bangla’,” he said in Siliguri rally.

Expressing anguish over Cooch Behar incident, PM Modi said, “What happened in Cooch Behar is very saddening. My sympathies are with the families of those who died, I condole their demise. Didi and her goons are perturbed, seeing the people's support for BJP. She has stooped to this level as she can see her chair slipping away.”

Reacting to the violence in Cooch Behar, he also said, “Didi, this violence, tactics of instigating people to attack the Security Forces, the tactics of obstructing the polling process will not protect you. This violence can't protect you from the 10 years of your ill-governance.”

Amidst the fourth phase of West Bengal Assembly polls, the Prime Minister asserted, “I saw a video on social media. In it, the tourism minister of Bengal who is close to Didi is threatening the people of the state, saying if people voted for BJP, people will be thrown out of the Bengal. Will you accept this language, such sort of threat?”

Accusing Mamata didi for not showing her 10 years report card of her governance, PM Modi remarked, “Didi's goons are not able to do 'chhappa votes' this time around and thus, Didi is angry. She never presented her report card for 10 years. She should be giving the account of her works, her nephew's works and her goons' works.”

PM Modi, who has been relentlessly campaigning in West Bengal during assembly elections, hit out at Mamata Banerjee for her government’s patronage to syndicates, tolabaazs and cut-money mafias during a rally in Siliguri.

“It's time to change the kind of political environment, that has been created in Bengal for past several decades. 'Tolabaaj mukt' Bengal will be formed now. 'Syndicate mukt' Bengal will be formed now. 'Cut money mukt' Bengal will be formed now,” he added further.

Talking about TMC leader Sujata Mondal who made disparaging comments against the Dalit community. PM Modi without taking name said, “The thinking of Didi and TMC leaders is coming out in the open. A video is going viral on social media where a leader close to Didi can be seen blatantly accusing the Scheduled Caste community of Bengal as ‘beggars by nature’.”

In Siliguri, PM Modi accused Didi for not giving even tap-water to the people of Bengal, he said, “She did not provide irrigation water in the fields. But the rivers here were handed over to the mafias. Every scheme has tolabaz, every scheme has cut-money. A few days ago in Siliguri, Didi said that her tolabaaz only take 100-500 rupees, what is the big deal in this?”

Exuding confidence of forming the BJP government in the state, the PM stated, “In Bengal, after we form the government, you will be provided all benefits and schemes without cut money. The BJP government in Bengal will work on lines of how we worked during COVID lockdown. The Central government sent thousands of crores to everyone during the lockdown. The BJP government in Bengal will work with the same transparency.”

In Krishnanagar’s rally, the Prime Minister said, “After a wait for decades, the 'mahayagya' of 'ashol poribortan' has started in Bengal. This 'mahayagya' will teach a lesson to appeasers. After years of bloodshed, fear, atrocity and goondaism, Bengal will now walk towards peace and progress to fulfil the vision of 'Sonar Bangla'. This land will be freed of mafia, cow traffickers and infiltration.”

“The BJP has come into existence with the blessings of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee,” PM Modi said. The Prime Minister added that his party is fortunate that the people of Bengal are going to give them the opportunity to serve Bengal.

Taking a jibe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PM Modi said, “Seeing defeat, she has decided to do politics outside Bengal. The Varanasi thing has not been come out like this. That is, after the election, Didi will take an exit and the nephew will stake claim to play a new Khela in Bengal. This is also a game, which the people of Bengal have to understand.”

PM Modi slammed TMC supremo for abusing EC, CAPF, EVM, he asserted, “Didi abuses EC, CAPF, EVM.. to the extent, that Didi is abusing her own party's polling agents now. She is so desperate that she is defaming Bengal's voters. Didi, o Didi! People of Bengal don't expect you to have sensitivity any more.”

The Prime Minister criticised the ruling Trinamool Congress government, he alleged, “What did TMC government give to the youth of Bengal - unemployment, riots, lathis, and now, insults. Even the minority classes that Didi continued to serve are also at distress due to cut money and syndicate.”

Touting “double engine ki sarkar” as the best option for voters the Prime Minister said, “I request all young karyakartas to help spread the word of ‘ashol poriborton’ to their families and neighbours. He ended his speech with an appeal to voters to press the button for the lotus flower in upcoming elections. “In every seat and in every booth you just have to remember one thing ‘Ebar kamal chap, TMC saaf” the Prime Minister said.