New Delhi, Sep 13 : Bihar and Bihari aspirations were the dominating talking points with intermittent references to Bihar's past as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three petro projects for the state, ahead of the Assembly polls.
"There was a time when LPG gas connections in Bihar were a sign of affluent people. People had to make recommendations for each gas connection. The one who used to have gas in his house was believed to be from a very big family. Nobody asked those who were marginalised in the society, were suffering, deprived, backward, very backward. Their grief, their suffering was also ignored. But now in Bihar this concept has changed," said the Prime Minister in an apparent dig at Bihar's past, primarily ruled by the opposition RJD.
While inaugurating three crucial petroleum projects that will benefit Bihar, he broke it down in simpler terms for normal residents of the state to make sense of what the projects would mean to them. He said, "Today when CNG is reaching many cities of the country, PNG is reaching people of Bihar and eastern India should get these facilities as easily."
Resurrecting Bihar's past and contrasting it with its present, Modi said that there was a time in the state when gas-based industry and petro-connectivity were seen as technical terms. However, he added that they have a direct impact on people's lives and their standard of living.
He said that the Prime Minister's package given for Bihar had 10 big projects related to petroleum and gas and about Rs 21,000 crore were to be spent on these projects. "Today this is the seventh project on which work has been completed, which has been dedicated to the people of Bihar," Modi added.
He also stressed that be it the work of expanding the Patna LPG plant and increasing the storage capacity earlier, LGP plant of Purnia to be expanded or new LPG plant in Muzaffarpur - all these projects have already been completed.
Making a strong pitch for the NDA's development mantra, he added that work on the part of the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline project that passes through Bihar has also been completed in March last year. He also announced how the work related to pipeline has also been completed on Motihari-Amlekhganj route.
In an apparent dig at the RJD, he once again underscored Bhar's past to highlight its present. He said, "There is neither a shortage of power in eastern India, including Bihar, nor has nature lacked resources here. Despite this, Bihar and eastern India remained behind for decades in terms of development. Many of the reasons for this were political, economic and of priorities."
He added that efforts to connect eastern India with Paradip on the eastern seaboard and Kandla on the western seaboard began under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojana. Seven states are being connected to this pipeline of about 3,000 kms, in which Bihar also has a prominent place.
But being a master communicator, Modi always makes it readable to the layman. To make sense of the metro jargons, he reminded how the Ujjwala scheme came as a blessing for so many. "Today, 8 crore poor families of the country also have gas connections because of the Ujjwala scheme. What has changed in the lives of the poor through this plan, we have all felt again during this corona phase," he said.
Modi also added that it is because of this scheme that many were not forced to venture out to collect logs during the lockdown when staying indoor was necessary.
However, in what has come to be a signature move of the Prime Minister, he concluded by warning that the pandemic is not over yet and maintaining social distancing and practicing personal hygiene is crucial in the given circumstances.