Gandhinagar, Friday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today asked the Congress-led Central Government to stop playing politics with the farmers of Gujarat.

He said the Centre's ban on cotton export in a year of bumper crop is just one of the several steps the Centre has taken to help its wheeler-dealers. It seems the Centre has taken a franchise to ruin Gujarat farmers. The farmers of Gujarat have come of age and in case their third eye opens, they might not take the Delhi durbar's maneuverings too kindly, lying down, he warned.

Mr. Modi was speaking at the fourth zonal Krishi Mela in this year's month-long Krishi Mahotsav for the Saurashtra and Kutch region at Una in Junagadh district.

Talking about the month-long Krishi Mahotsav being launched for the seventh successive year, he said that it is for the first time in the history of India that ministers, one lakh government karma yogis and agricultural scientists from the four state agricultural universities visit each and every 18,000 villages in the state, discuss their problems literally at their doorsteps.

Expressing his satisfaction at the unprecedented people's support for the mahotsav, he said it has emerged as a farmers' movement. In a major policy shift, Gujarat has freed the farmer from their dependence on power to make water available to them, through participatory management of water resources. Nature too was benevolent. There was no drought for about a decade.

Mr. Modi said the state government has taken up a massive water conservation project, introduced scientific methods of farming and promoted animal husbandry to supplement the tillers' income. The soil health card is another innovative initiative which has helped farmers chose crops for maximizing production. His next call is for value addition of crops like potato, tomato, castor and the milk.

The Chief Minister took round of the Krishi Mela, visited the Biomass Production Laboratory and dedicated to the people the Milk Chilling Plant at Judvadli. He congratulated the prize-winning progressive farmers of the region, unveiled a booklet on horticulture, handbook on taluka and distributed some kits to farmers.

Agriculture Minister Dileepbhai Sanghani said the Krishi Mahotsav is the result of Gujarat Government foresighted policies. The state decided to divide one agricultural university into four for research specific to different agro-climatic zones. The mahotsav is now drawing attention of other states, too.

Mr. Purshottam Rupala, Member of Rajya Sabha recalled that the state had resolved to double the income from agriculture and has achieved the goal many times over. The state government's other laudable efforts include modernizing the marketing yards. The campaign for girls education, increasing enrolment in schools and reduce dropout ratio has brought about changes in the world of education. The industrial peace in the state is attracting investors from abroad.

BJP State Unit President R. C. Faldu said that Gujarat is undergoing an all round development under the leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Junagadh Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Dr N.C. Patel in his welcome address said the Krishi Mahotsav being held in Gujarat has shown a new way to the world to reach out to the farmers, far and wide.

Prominent among others present on the occasion included Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, Ministers of State Kanubhai Bhalala and Vasanbhai Ahir, Parliamentary Secretaries L. T. Rajani, State Planning Board Chairman Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, MP Dinubhai Solanki and Naranbhai Kachhadia, MLAs of the region, Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Lakshmi Narayan, Maharashtra's MLA Prakash Mehta, Principal Agriculture Secretary R.K. Tripathy, Animal Husbandry Secretary Rajivkumar Gupta, District Collector A.M. Parmar, DDO Diviben Baraiya, presidents of taluka panchayats, Gujarat Agro-Industries Chairman Mansukhbhai Mandviya and Vice-Chancellors of different agriculture universities.

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PM Modi addresses a fervent crowd at a public meeting in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
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In the rule of Congress, even listening to Hanuman Chalisa becomes a crime, says PM Modi in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur

Continuing his election campaigning spree, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed a public meeting in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. PM Modi extends his heartfelt wishes to the entire nation on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. He said, “Whether it was 2014 or 2019, Rajasthan united to bless the BJP with the strength to form a powerful government in the country. You secured 25 out of 25 seats for the BJP.”

At the start of his public meeting, the PM remarked, “Remember, every time we are divided, the enemies of the nation have taken advantage. Even now, efforts are being made to divide Rajasthan, to divide its people. Rajasthan must remain vigilant against this.”

Addressing the huge gathering in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, PM Modi stated, “You all were freed from the clutches of Congress just a few months ago. The wounds inflicted by the Congress party while in power are something the people of Rajasthan cannot forget. Congress made Rajasthan number one in cases of atrocities against women. You all know why the industry in Tonk shut down due to certain antisocial elements. However, since Bhajan Lal Sharma came, the mafia and criminals have been forced to flee Rajasthan. Even the Paparleak mafia has cooled down after Bhajan Lal's legal crackdown.”

Reminiscing an unacceptable incident happened in Karnataka, PM Modi said, “As we speak on Hanuman Jayanti today, I'm reminded of a picture from a few days ago. It's from Congress-ruled Karnataka. Recently, a shopkeeper there was brutally beaten simply because he was listening to the Hanuman Chalisa. You can imagine... in the reign of Congress, even listening to the Hanuman Chalisa is considered a sin.”

He further added, “Following one's faith becomes difficult under Congress rule, and Rajasthan has suffered because of it. Just a few days ago, we celebrated Ram Navami. For the first time after Congress's departure, a peaceful procession was held. During Congress's tenure, Ram Navami celebrations were banned in Rajasthan. Congress provided government protection to stone-pelters during processions. In a state like Rajasthan where people chant Ram-Ram, Congress banned Ram Navami.”

Continuing from his previous remarks PM Modi reiterated his charge that Congress, if voted to power, will conduct wealth survey to seize the assets of people and take away their life-long savings. He said, “Congress is plotting to snatch your property and distribute it to their special people. When I exposed their politics, they got so angry that they started abusing me. I want to know from Congress why are they so afraid of the truth?” PM Modi also alleged that one of the Congress leaders would conduct X-ray scans of people's properties and distribute them to their favored individuals.

“As soon as the Congress came to power at the center in 2004, one of its first initiatives was attempting Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh. This was a pilot project that the Congress wanted to implement nationwide. Between 2004 and 2010, the Congress made four attempts to introduce Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh, but due to legal hurdles, the plans were not realized,” the PM added.

Slamming the opposition for going against the constitution, PM Modi asserted, “The truth is that when the Congress and the INDI Alliance were in power, they wanted to grant reservation to one section of the society by cutting into the quotas meant for Dalits and backward classes, which is completely against the Constitution. The reservation rights that Dr. Babasaheb gave to Dalits, backward classes, and tribals, the Congress and the INDI Alliance wanted to give them to specific minorities based on religion.”

Furthermore, the Prime Minister said, “Amid these conspiracies of the Congress, today Modi is giving you an open guarantee. The reservation for Dalits, backward classes, and tribals will not end, nor will it be distributed in the name of religion. In 2020, the constitutional deadline for reservation was ending, it is Modi who has extended reservation for Dalits and tribals for another 10 years.”

Outlining his vision for creating modern infrastructure, PM Modi iterated, “Congress didn't let the most crucial ERCP project pass for Rajasthan. The BJP government approved the ERCP project within three months. The ERCP project will bring significant benefits to Tonk-Sawai Madhopur. It's the BJP that is building modern infrastructure across the country. The country's largest Delhi-Mumbai Expressway passes through Sawai Madhopur. The government has also approved the doubling of the Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur railway line. A medical college is also being prepared for better medical facilities in this area.”

Urging the people of Rajasthan to vote for BJP, PM Modi said, “The next phase of voting is on April 26th. Wherever I have gone in Rajasthan recently, the people of the state have blessed me abundantly. Your dreams are my dreams. Every moment, every second of mine is for the country, to fulfill the dream of a developed India. That's why, 24/7... I am working for 2047. And the work done in the last 10 years is just a trailer. In the next 5 years, we have to take the country, and Rajasthan, much further ahead.”