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Houses, Hospitals and Agatha Christie Novels: With 2019 in Mind, PM Modi Strikes a Chord in Gujarat

The Prime Minister showcased development projects that he initiated as Gujarat CM and made a strong pitch for his re-election when elections take place next year with the day-long tour.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:August 23, 2018, 9:42 PM IST
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Houses, Hospitals and Agatha Christie Novels: With 2019 in Mind, PM Modi Strikes a Chord in Gujarat
PM Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Junagarh on Thursday. (PIB Photo via PTI)
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Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with women beneficiaries of a housing scheme, spoke about the importance of forensic science in curbing crime and dedicated projects worth crore of rupees during his whirlwind day-long tour of his home state Gujarat on Thursday.

It was clearly an attempt to showcase development projects that he initiated as Gujarat CM and make a strong pitch for his re-election as PM when elections take place next year.

The PM’s outreach ahead of the general election was evident in his first meeting at Valsad, where he interacted with women beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana from 26 districts of the state. Over 1.15 lakh women were handed over possession of homes.

The foundation stone of a mega irrigation and water supply project aimed at providing potable water for the tribal belt extending from Ambaji in North Gujarat to Umargam in South Gujarat was also laid.

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PM Narendra Modi hands over possession certificates of homes to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana.

The PM tried to strike a chord with the recipients of houses by asking them questions about education of their daughters, about their local representatives and about sweets.

Ensuring that a message is sent out loud and clear that people he was interacting with were not tutored, the PM asked a woman beneficiary from a village in Rajkot district – “Tell me something very frankly. Have you had to pay bribes to get yourself a house under the scheme?”

To another group of women from Kutch district, he asked – “Are the houses of good quality? You can be frank with me. Are they made to your satisfaction?”

Speaking at a gathering in Junagadh later, the Prime Minister said - "Here in Junagadh, there are nine projects that will either be dedicated or the foundation stone will be laid. Projects worth over Rs 500 crore. This is really satisfying. The water supply programme whose foundation I laid in Valsad will be taken note of by the whole country once it is complete.”

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PM Narendra Modi at the convocation of the Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar.

The PM added that a new civil hospital and medical college at Junagadh will prove to be a lifeline for the people. “Our dream is to have a medical college attached to a civil hospital in each district of Gujarat. In the past nine years, nine new hospitals and attached medical colleges have been set up," he said.

In the evening, while speaking at the fourth convocation of the Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, the PM joked while addressing the students - "I am sure people must have asked you, are you sure you want to do these courses? Hope you're not watching too many crime shows. Or reading too many Agatha Christie novels."

On a more serious note, the PM remarked - "It is important that criminals realise that inevitably they will be caught. Surety of punishment will strengthen our judicial system."

He also spoke about the threat of cybercrime and how experts and the Forensic Sciences University could help in curbing the menace. The PM ended his day-long tour by attending a meeting of the Somnath Temple Trust at Gandhinagar.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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