Lord Shiva gives me strength to digest poison: Modi | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Lord Shiva gives me strength to digest poison: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits his hometown for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister in 2014.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2017 17:12 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with students of the GMERS Medical College in Vadnagar in Gujarat on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with students of the GMERS Medical College in Vadnagar in Gujarat on Sunday. (AFP)

Visiting his hometown Vadnagar for the first time as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in an emotional address on Sunday said the blessings of Hatkeswar Mahadev (Lord Shiva) have given him ‘strength to digest poison since 2001’. (LIVE updates)

“Bholenath (Lord Shiva) is in Vadnagar, from where my journey started. He is in Kashi too (part of Modi’s LS constituency), where I have reached now. Bholenath has the power to consume and digest poison. His blessings have given me the strength to digest all the poison that I have received since 2001. No matter who spews venom, I have the strength to serve the motherland,” he said addressing a large gathering after winding up his day’s engagements.

“Coming back to hometown and receiving such a warm welcome is special. Whatever I am today is due to the values I have learnt on this soil,” Modi said.

The visit to his birthplace came 16 years after Modi, the then BJP general secretary, on October 7, 2001 returned from Delhi to Gandhinagar to become chief minister of Gujarat.

Modi arrived here around 9.30 am to a warm welcome from locals who lined up on either side of roads and lanes showering flowers on the PM who stood on the footboard of his SUV.

Modi’s first stop in the town was his school B N Vidyalaya. He walked some 50 metres to reach the school where he bowed down, touched the ground and put soil tilaks on the forehead. Before returning to his SUV, he shook hands with his old friends and neighbours.

His next stop was Hatkeshwar Temple. After offering prayers, he went on to inaugurate Gujarat government’s medical college and hospital.

This is the first government medical college for north Gujarat, which is the epicenter of the Patidar agitation for reservation in government colleges and jobs. The inauguration by Modi – who was accompanied by Patel leaders including former CM Anandiben Patel, deputy CM Nitin Patel and Patidar MLAs from the region – is being seen as a move to pacify the community which is up in arms against the BJP government over OBC quota.

Pankajbhai Modi, brother of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, poses besides the former tea stall of father Damodardas Mulchand Modi, at the railway station in Vadnagar, some 110kms from Ahmedabad. (AFP Photo)

Slamming the previous UPA governments for “not paying attention” to the health sector, he said, “The Vajpayee government had formed the health policy. But then came a government for 10 years that hated development. As a result, a new health policy has been formulated by our government after 15 years.”

Modi said that work is constantly being done to make healthcare affordable for the poor and middle class. “We brought prices of stents down. Earlier, the middle class had to spend Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh on treatment of heart-related ailment and stents. Now stent is available to them for 30-40% of the previous prices,” he said.

The PM also launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush, which aims to accelerate the full immunization coverage and provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage.