On a one-day visit to Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on Saturday said he and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
would take the state to new heights of development even as he announced that infrastructure projects of Rs 53,000 crore were underway or completed in the state.
PM Modi was sharing a public platform with the Bihar CM for the first time after the coming together of JD-U and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over two months ago.
Addressing a rally at Mokama, Modi heaped praise on Nitish Kumar
and said the central and state governments were working tirelessly to fulfil the dreams of people of Bihar.
Modi referred to Kumar's demands for development of Mokama and said he respected sentiments of the Chief Minister. "I assure you that the central government will walk with you shoulder to shoulder to fulfil dreams of people of Bihar and take this journey of development to new heights," he said.
had joined again with the BJP
in July after falling out with the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls over its projection of Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. The fallout happened after the JD-U and BJP
had been together in the NDA for almost 17 years.
Here are the top 10 developments from PM Modi's Bihar visit:
Modi laid the foundation stone for four sewerage projects under the Namami Gange programme
and four national
highway projects and said the state was getting gifts worth Rs 3,700 coinciding with festivals of Diwali and Chhath.
Modi, who arrived in Patna on a day-long visit, earlier addressed centenary celebrations of Patna University
and said the government will provide autonomy and Rs 10,000 crore to top 10 public and 10 private universities to make them world-class. Modi said it was a "blot" that Indian universities do not figure among the top 500 of the world. "They will be given Rs 10,000 crore in the next five years," Modi said, adding that there will be rigorous selection process. He also urged universities to move from conventional teaching to innovative learning and said there was need for students to "un-learn, de-learn and re-learn".
Kumar, who also spoke at the varsity function, said people of the state were keen that Patna University
is made a central university. Modi, however, responded by saying that he was going beyond the demand and was keen that the Patna varsity competes successfully in the challenge for 10 public universities and becomes a global-level institution.
Referring to the long list of road projects mentioned by Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari
in his speech, Modi said, "So many projects to change the fate of Bihar can be implemented in such a short time, we have shown this." Modi said probably so much work in infrastructure has not been done in Bihar in such a short period of time after Independence. "Works related to road projects Nitinji was telling me... of Rs 53,000 crore have either been started or approved. What impact it will have, you can imagine," he said.
Referring to Ganga, Modi said: "If there was no Ganga, I do not know what condition our land would have been in. We did not make adequate efforts (to clean it). Saving Ganga
is saving our future generations. We have to make Ganga
clean that will also help in improving its flow. Hence the government is spending crores of rupees in its cleanliness." He said cleanliness of Ganga
will also lead to awareness about the need to preserve other rivers.
6) Modi said the Centre and the state government led by Kumar will work together with a pledge to bring Bihar on par with the other prosperous states by 2022. "Nitishji is committed to the development of Bihar... and the central government has pledged to develop the country. Together the two will work together to ensure that Bihar is counted among the prosperous states by 2022 when the country celebrates 75 years of independence," the prime minister said.
7) Nitish Kumar
requested the Centre to construct one more bridge parallel to the Vikramshila Setu in Bhagalpur, besides a road connecting Buxar and Varanasi.
8) Gadkari, who spoke before Kumar, said the Centre was constructing a greenfield expressway from Lucknow to Gorakhpur and Ballia and suggested that the expressway be connected with Patna as it would reduce the travel time between Delhi and the Bihar capital.
Gadkari also said that of the total 11 sewage projects that would be constructed for Patna alone, the foundation stone has been laid for four projects that would treat 140 MLD (million litres a day) and stop effluents from being discharged into the Ganga.
The foundation stone for the remaining seven sewage treatment plants will be laid in next four month, he added.
RJD president Lalu Prasad
on Saturday said Modi and Kumar were fooling the people of Bihar by not according central status to the Patna University.
"Both of them (Modi as well as Kumar) are making fools of people of Bihar. They must have decided beforehand that one will propose and another would dispose it (proposal for central status to Patna University)," Prasad told reporters at Patna's Jay Prakash Narayan Airport on his arrival from New Delhi.
The RJD chief also questioned BJP
president Amit Shah
for giving a "clean chit" to his son Jay Amit Shah, whose company saw a huge rise in turnover after the BJP
came to power in 2014, as claimed in a report by The Wire. "Are you (Amit Shah) heading ED or CBI that you are giving clean chit to your son Jay Shah?" he said. "While me and my family members are being called every now and then by ED, CBI or Income Tax, same is not done with Amit Shah's son," Prasad added.