Varanasi, Nov 7: In his first visit after assuming charge, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi on Friday. Modi arrived in Bada Lalpur to lay foundation stone of the Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum to develop and promote handloom products of Varanasi.
As he reached the place, he was reportedly greeted with slogans like Har Har Modi, Narendra Modi Zindabad, Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Mataram.
Addressing the weavers at Bada Lalpur, Modi said: “Varanasi holds a very special place in my heart. I have come here to meet my own people. The joy is different.”
“I am in Varanasi as your servant. I will be with you in times of happiness and sadness,” said PM Narendra Modi, adding that he had planned to visit Varanasi earlier, but postponed it due to cyclone in Andhra Pradesh.
Talking about textile sector and the possibilities, he said: “Textile is the second largest job generating sector of the country after agriculture. Textile sector gives employment to poorest of the poor. All sections of society are integrated in this sector.”
Modi said that money alone won’t help weavers, but we need a vision. “We need to modify ourselves according to global needs,” he added.
Talking about cultural aspect, he said weavers represent the Ganga-Jamuni tradition. “There is not even a single mother who does not dream of gifting her daughter a Banarasi saree on her wedding, he said, adding “There is no woman, no matter how poor or illiterate, across India who has not heard of Banarasi saree.”
Modi said the weavers have an assured market, because “your design, your work, your service – this is a great legacy we have here.” Every household is a market for Banarasi saree, Modi added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, state Governor Ram Naik, along with Union Textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar received the PM at the airport.
Tight security is in place in the ancient temple town where Modi is expected to adopt a village under his “Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana” (MPs’ model village scheme).
As far as security is concerned, 12 SP rank police officials of Uttar Pradesh, 18 Additional SPs, 20 Deputy SPs, 135 sub-inspectors, besides more than 1,000 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary have been deployed.
The Prime Minister’s visit, which is likely to last a little over 24 hours, has sent soaring the hope of a better future among residents of the holy town, which has been facing crumbling infrastructure and lack of basic amenities.
Among the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi has been constantly in the spotlight ever since Modi chose to retain the constituency he had won by a huge margin of 3.7 lakh votes, vacating Vadodara in his home state of Gujarat where his victory (by 5.7 lakh votes) was even bigger.
Soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Lok Sabha elections in May, Modi had visited the city and offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Mandir and taken part in Ganga Aarti.
The project for weavers is aimed at their uplift as the PM had repeatedly highlighted their plight in election speeches.
Local BJP leaders are upbeat over the first visit of the Prime Minister, who won the Lok Sabha seat by the highest margin ever recorded for this constituency.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was expected to visit Varanasi on October 14 and 15 but it was postponed due to cyclone Hudhud.
(With Agency Inputs)