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"Congress deliberately kept border areas deprived of development...": PM Modi in Barmer

RAJASTHAN: Coming down heavily on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused it of ignoring development work in border villages due to apprehension of the enemy using the infrastructure in case of a clash and said BJP government considers these villages as "first villages".

Addressing a public meeting in Rajasthan's Barmer for the Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi said that his government has given priority to ramping up infrastructure along the border.

"The thinking of Congress itself is anti-development. These people call the border villages of the country the last villages of the country. These people deliberately kept the border districts and villages deprived of development because they were afraid that the enemy would come on the roads made by

"We consider the border areas and border villages not as the last villages but as the first villages of the country. For us, the boundaries of the country do not end here, the country starts from here. Today, if 4 crore poor people in the country have got PM housing scheme, then in Barmer also, nearly 1.75 lakh poor people have got the benefit of the scheme," he said.

Former Defence Minister AK Antony had told Parliament in 2013 that China's infrastructure in the border areas was superior and this "mistake" has to be accepted by all.

Antony said that India had started building its infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after years of indifference.

The minister said there had been a policy in the past not to develop border areas. He said while trying to improve relations with China and find a solution to the boundary problem, the government will continue to strengthen capabilities along the border.

In his speech, the Prime Minister talked of the steps taken by his government for the development of Rajasthan including Barmer.

"A refinery costing Rs 72,000 crore is going to be started in the border of town Barmer. In the coming time, employment opportunities will be created in this area and new paths will be created for the youth. I promise that in my third term in office, I'll come here again and inaugurate the refinery," he said.

He accused Congress of corruption in the Jal Jeevan Mission.

"Rajasthan whose people gave their blood for the country, that Rajasthan was kept thirsty for water by the Congress. During the time the Congress government was in power in Rajasthan, it indulged in massive corruption in the Jal Jeevan Mission. Congress did not even allow the ERCP (Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project) to bring water to Rajasthan to be completed."

BJP has fielded union minister Kailash Choudhary from Barmer against Congress' Umaidaram Beniwal.

In Dausa, a constituency reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, the BJP has fielded Kanhaiya Lal Meena against Congress' Murari Lal Meena. BJP's Jaskaur Meena won the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Dausa.

Rajasthan has 25 Lok Sabha seats. The polling will be held in two phases on April 19 and 26. The BJP had won all 25 seats in the state in 2014. In 2019, the BJP-led alliance won all 25 seats, with the BJP winning 24.


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