Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Congress over its August 5 protest against inflation in black clothes and said that some people have resorted to “black magic” as they are “immersed in despair and negativity”. He also lashed out at certain Opposition parties for engaging in politics of freebies and said such things would only do a disservice to the nation as it hampers investment in new technology.
PM Modi made the remarks after inaugurating a second generation (2G) ethanol plant built at an estimated cost of Rs 900 crore in Haryana’s Panipat via video conferencing.
The Prime Minister said those who believe in “black magic” will never be able to win the trust of people again. “Some people are resorting to black magic as they are immersed in despair and negativity. We saw on August 5 that there was an attempt to propagate black magic. These people think that by wearing black clothes, their period of despair will end. But, these people are unaware that no matter how much ever they do black magic and believe in superstitions, they cannot earn the trust of people again,” news agency ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had linked the Congress protests with the ‘Ayodhya Divas’, the day foundation stone for the Ayodhya temple was laid in 2020, following a landmark Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
Wearing black, Congress leaders hit the streets on August 5 to protest against price rise and unemployment. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were among those detained by police in Delhi but later released. Protests were also held in several other states.
The PM also said that an attempt was made to “defame” Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and “humiliate our brave freedom fighters”. He said, “Today, when the country is painted in the color of the tricolor in the Amrit Mahotsav, then something has also happened towards which I want to draw the attention of the country. An attempt has been made to defame this holy occasion, to humiliate our brave freedom fighters. It is important to understand the mentality of such people in the country too.” Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the central government to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence.
“Anyone can come and announce to give free petrol and diesel if their politics is self-centered. Such steps will take away rights from our children and prevent the country from becoming self-reliant. It will increase burden on the taxpayers of the country,” said PM Modi on freebies culture.
Speaking on the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan’, PM Modi said, “The tricolor of India does not contain only three colors in itself. Our tricolor is a reflection of the pride of our past, our commitment to the present and our dreams of the future. Our tricolor is a symbol of India’s unity, integrity and diversity. Today, after 75 years of independence, as we begin the journey of a new India, the tricolor is once again representing the unity and consciousness of India. I am happy that the power and devotion of the country is being reflected together in the tricolor campaign, in the tricolor yatras being held across the country. Entire India has taken part in Surat Tiranga Yatra. Tiranga has the power of unification, we can see that in Surat. The people of Surat have showcased the soul of India’s freedom struggle in the Tiranga Yatra.”
About 2G ethanol plant
The 2G ethanol plant has been built at an estimated cost of over Rs 900 crore by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and is located close to the Panipat Refinery, an official statement had said.
Based on indigenous technology, the project will utilise about two lakh tonnes of rice straw annually to generate around three crore litres of ethanol annually, it said. Creating an end-use for the agri-crop residue would empower farmers and provide an additional income generation opportunity for them, it added.
The project will provide direct employment to people involved in the plant operation and indirect employment will be generated in the supply chain for rice straw cutting, handling, storage, etc. Through reduction in burning of rice straw, the project will contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gases equivalent to about 3 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per annum, which can be understood as equivalent to replacing nearly 63,000 cars annually on the country’s roads, the statement said.
The dedication of the plant is part of a long series of steps taken by the government over the years to boost the production and usage of biofuels in the country, said the statement.
(with inputs from PTI)