Hitting out at the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that Uttar Pradesh has been seen through "political prism" in the past decades and noted that people were feeling confident over the last few years that the state can be the powerhouse of India's growth engine.
Interacting with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in Uttar Pradesh, which will go to the polls early next year, the Prime Minister said the "double engine" government has changed the way of looking at the potential of the state.
The Prime Minister, who addressed the gathering through video conference, said this decade was, in a way, the period to make up for the shortfall in development in the last seven decades in the state.
"This cannot happen without giving the youth, daughters, poor, deprived, backwards better opportunities and their improved participation," he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister said that the free ration distribution scheme will continue for the poor till Diwali.
He said Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to administer nearly five crore vaccine doses.
"In the last few decades, Uttar Pradesh has always been seen from the political prism. The state can play a lead role in the development of the country but it was not even allowed to be discussed," he said.
"The double engine government has changed the way of looking at the potential of the state from a narrow perspective that prevailed earlier. Uttar Pradesh can be the powerhouse of India's growth engine, this self-confidence has been generated in the last few years," he added.
The Prime Minister said the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh have ensured that the schemes made for the poor, downtrodden, backward, tribals are implemented expeditiously.
He cited PM Svanidhi Yojana as an example. The Prime Minister also spoke of the measures taken to mitigate the situation during the pandemic.
An effective strategy kept the cost of food items in control and suitable measures were undertaken to keep the supply of seeds or fertilizers for farmers which resulted in record production and the government also made record procurement under MSP, he said.
He lauded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for record MSP procurement in the state.
The Prime Minister said the number of farmers benefiting from MSP in Uttar Pradesh doubled during the past year, more than Rs 24,000 crore were deposited directly in the account of 13 lakh farmer families as the price of their produce.
He noted that 17 lakh families have been allotted houses, lakhs of poor families got toilets and 27 lakh households have received piped water in the state.
He said that it is a matter of immense satisfaction for him that every grain sent to the state reaches the beneficiaries.
The Prime Minister said unprecedented work has been done in Uttar Pradesh in the last few years under the BJP-led government.
He also took a dig at some political leaders in Uttar Pradesh for their initial remarks towards the COVID-19 vaccine. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav had said he will not take "BJP's political vaccine".
"Imagine if a pandemic like coronavirus had hit four-five years back, what situation would have been the situation in UP. Then even the common cold could turn fatal. Today UP is the first state which will reach 5.25 crore vaccinations against COVID-19. That too, when for political opposition, confusion was sought to be created on Made in India vaccine. The wise people of Uttar Pradesh have rejected every confusion," he said.
The Prime Minister took a jibe at the opposition for disrupting the proceedings of Parliament on various issues and said 130 crore people of the country will face every challenge and move forward.
He also took a veiled dig at dynastic politics.
"New India is gaining global recognition not through ranks but by winning medals. It has been proved that one's progress is decided by hard work, not family. Indian youth is moving forward, they are progressing".
The Prime Minister referred to some recent achievements.
Apart from the Olympics, he also talked of the upcoming landmark 50 crore vaccinations and a record GST collection of 1.16 lakh crore in July. He also pointed to record exports of agriculture produce, the trial of the first Made in India aircraft carrier Vikrant, completion of construction of the highest motorable road in the world in Ladakh and launch of e-Rupi.