Votes are secondary, nation first: PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi
On the second day of his visit to his Varanasi parliamentary constituency, Modi told a gathering that he had launched a major war against corruption and the corrupt to ease the life of the common man. He also said cleanliness was worship for him as it could rid the poor of various diseases and a lot of economic burden.
"Governance for us is not about votes or winning elections. The priority is the development of the nation. For us, the country is bigger than party," he said, in his address to farmers in Shahanshahpur on the outskirts of Varanasi.
He said most of the problems faced by the common people in India were rooted in corruption.
"I have launched a war against it and will take it further to ensure that graft is weeded out from the country."
The Prime Minister urged the people to also ensure that the mission for cleanliness gets their support.
He said it was his good fortune to lay the foundation stone of a public toilet in Shahanshahpur village "because sanitation is also a kind of worship for me.
"It will rid the poor of my country of various diseases and the economic burden due to those diseases that result from dirty surroundings. Hundreds of diseases come knocking at your doorsteps because of lack of hygiene," Modi said.
He quoted a Unicef report that each household in India which does not have a toilet spend around Rs 50,000 a year on treatment for different ailments.
"It is the responsibility of every citizen and every family to keep their surroundings clean so we are able to build clean villages, clean cities and a clean nation," Modi said.
The prime minister urged the people to take cleanliness not only as a mission but also turn into a habit for everyone.
Referring to his government's housing scheme, Modi said he wanted every one in the country to have a roof over their head when in 2022 India completes 75 years of independence.
He said he realized that it was an onerous task but he would be the man doing it. "I know it is difficult. But if Modi cannot do the difficult job who else will."
He added that those homes - crores in number - would need bricks, cement, iron and wood, and would create several employment opportunities.
He also lauded the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath for his work for welfare of cattle and said in the past no one paid attention to them as they are not able to vote.
He also informed the gathering that small initiatives like switching of Varanasi street lights to LED bulbs had saved Rs 13 crore in electricity bill for the municipal corporation.
Modi added the government's resolution was to double the farmer's income.
Earlier the prime minister inaugurated a cattle fair - Pashudhan Aarogya Mela.