Double engine govt will ensure continuation of development in Goa, says PM Modi
Goa should continue with a “double engine” government to ensure it stays on the path to self-reliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party administrations both at the state and the Centre. Modi also took a dig at opposition parties, saying that they were like a football team that lacks team spirit, as he sounded the bugle for next year’s assembly elections in the coastal state.
“In football, whether it is defence or forward, everyone is goal-oriented. Someone has to save a goal, while others have to score goals. The feeling of achieving each other’s goal has never been short in Goa, but the earlier governments lacked team spirit,” Modi said. “They could not create a positive environment. For a long time, political selfishness took a toll on good governance.”
Interacting with beneficiaries of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goa programme, an extension of the central government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative via videoconferencing, Modi praised the good work done by the state government.
“Political instability damaged the prospect of progress in Goa,” he said. “But, in the last few years, the smart people of Goa turned this instability into stability.”
“My friend late Manohar Parrikar put Goa on the path of fast progress and Pramod Sawant and his team are scaling new heights now,” Modi said. “Today, Goa is moving ahead with new self-confidence.”
Goa can become self-sufficient only when it makes full use of the developmental avenues and possibilities, Modi said, while calling Swayampurna Goa a means to fulfil the aspirations of the common people. The scheme began on October 2 last year.
“Swayampurna Goa is an assurance of well-being and health of our mothers and sisters,” the Prime Minister said. “Swayampurna Goa will provide employment and self-employment opportunities to youth and unemployed people.”
Swayampurna Goa was not just a programme of five months or five years, but the first phase of the vision for the next 25 years, he said. “That is why Goa needs a continuation of development by double engine government. Goa needs clear policies like the way they are today and a stable government.”
Listing out Goa’s achievements in effectively implementing various schemes initiated by the Centre, Modi said, “India set the goal of being free from open defecation. Goa achieved this target 100%. The country has set a target of providing electricity connection to every household. Goa got it 100%. In Har Ghar Jal Abhiyan, (campaign to provide tap water in every household), Goa was first with 100%. In giving free ration to the poor, Goa achieved 100%.”
“I am pleased to say that the schemes, initiated by the central government to provide safety and respect for women, Goa has implemented them successfully on ground, whether it is toilets, Ujwala gas connection or the Jan Dhan bank account,” Modi said.
Goa has a key role to play in the country’s tour, travel and hospitality industry, he said.
States that depend on tourism such as Goa were front runners in the national vaccination drive. “When the country crossed the 100 crore (1 billion Covid-19 vaccine) doses, Goa was the first state to achieve 100% vaccination of the first dose for its eligible population,” he said.
The rapid vaccination drive has built confidence among both the people and tourists. “Now when you are preparing for Diwali, Christmas and New Year, during these vacations, we will be able to see new energy in the tourism sector of Goa,” he said.
During his interaction he spoke with a differently abled tea seller by recalling his past as a chaiwala.
“You are also a tea seller like me,” Modi told Rurki Ahmad Rajasaheb, a differently abled businessman and table tennis player from Vasco town. He runs a tea stall outside the Kadamba Transport Corporation’ bus stand.
The government is working towards providing a life with dignity to the differently abled. “The government is with you. If you progress, the country will progress,” the Prime Minister said.
(With agency inputs)