PANAJI, Oct 23:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday virtually sounded the bugle for the next year’s Goa Assembly elections and expressed the need for the continuation of a “double engine” government to realise the vision of making Goa self-sufficient.
Modi interacted with the beneficiaries and stakeholders of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goa programme’ via video conferencing.
His ‘double engine’ reference was to the BJP governments at the Centre as well as in the BJP-ruled Goa, where Assembly polls are due in February next year.
The poll scene in Goa has started hotting up ahead of the elections. Incidentally, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she would be on a maiden visit to Goa on October 28, and appealed to political parties and individuals to join her party in defeating the ruling BJP in the state.
The West Bengal Chief Minister’s party has already announced its decision to contest the Assembly elections in Goa.
“Goa can become ‘swayampurna’ (self-sufficient) only when it makes cent per cent use of the developmental avenues and possibilities,” Modi said, adding that ‘Swayampurna Goa’ is a means to fulfil the aspirations of common people.
“Swayampurna Goa is an assurance of well-being and health of our mothers and sisters. Swayampurna Goa will provide employment and self-employment opportunities to youths and unemployed people,” he added.
The prime minister said it was not just a programme of five months or five years, but it is the first phase of the vision for the next 25 years.
Each one from Goa will have to contribute to achieving this goal, he added.
“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,” he said.
The prime minister also said that the coastal state needs “energetic leadership like today”.
“With the blessings of the entire Goa, we can make the state swayampurna (self-reliant),” he said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant welcomed the prime minister during the event.
The implementation of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goa’ scheme began on October 2 last year.
According to the Goa government, this scheme brings benefits of all the state and central government schemes to the doorsteps of the people. Under this scheme, government officers, teachers and students reach out to every village panchayat to ensure that every village becomes self-reliant by harnessing the locally available resources.
Modi said Goa has a key role in the country’s tour, travel and hospitality industry.
He said tourism states, including Goa, were encouraged the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
“When the country crossed the 100 crore (mark of administering COVID-19) doses, Goa was the first state to achieve 100 per cent vaccination of the first dose for its eligible population,” he said. The PM said the vaccination target has helped to build confidence amongst 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 added.
The PM said the arrival of domestic and international tourists will increase in the coastal state which are positive signs for the state’s tourism industry. Praising chief minister Pramod Sawant-led BJP government in Goa, the prime minister said Goa has topped in achieving the targets under ‘Har Ghar Jal’ (scheme), free ration for the needy, and also achieved a hundred per cent coverage by administering the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
During his virtual interaction, Modi spoke to Goa government official Isha Sawant, Betalbhatim panchayat sarpanch Costancio Miranda, Bicholim Municipal Council chairperson Kundal Falari, Fisheries sector representative Louis Cardoso and tea stall owner Rurki Ahmad Rajasahab, who is differently-abled. (PTI)
PANAJI, Oct 23: