New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the development of Karnataka has been a top priority of the ruling BJP whereas those running the previous dispensations in the state used to divert its money outside.
He also said his government has worked for India’s progress by taking along traditions as well as technology.
“There was a time when people after forming government in Karnataka would take its money outside. Today, the country’s money and resources are honestly directed towards Karnataka’s development,” he said after inaugurating the “Barisu Kannada Dim Dimava” cultural festival here.
Today the development of Karnataka is a top priority for the country and for the government of Karnataka, he said.
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The prime minister said the state annually got Rs 11,000 crore between 2009 and 2014 when the Congress-led UPA was in power, while it has risen to Rs 30,000 crore under his government.
While the state received a total of only Rs 4,000 crore for railway projects in the five years preceding 2014, when Modi took office, the amount in the latest budget alone is Rs 7,000 crore.
While nearly Rs 6,000 crore was spent on building highways in the state in the five years before he came to power, it is now Rs 5,000 crore annually for the last nine years, Modi said.
The face of Karnataka is changing rapidly due to the fast pace of development, he said.
Assembly polls are expected to be held in the state in May this year, and the BJP has been working overtime to retain power in the southern state.
The prime minister said his government has worked for India’s progress by taking along traditions as well as technology.
If it has rejuvenated ancient temples and cultural centres, then India has also become world leader in digital payment, he said.
His government has brought back stolen idols and artefacts while also drawing record FDI to the country, Modi said.
He also lauded Karnataka’s contribution in nation-building and paid tributes to its leading figures in different walks of life.
The festival is held under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and celebrates Karnataka’s culture, traditions and history to mark the 75th anniversary of the Karnataka Sangha.
Modi said the identity, traditions and inspirations of India cannot be defined without the contributions of Karnataka and compared its place to Lord Hanuman in the Ramayana.
The people of Karnataka have always lived the mantra of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat”, Modi said.
“Karnataka is the land of traditions and technology. It has historical culture as well as modern artificial intelligence,” he said.
Modi noted that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whom he met earlier in the day, is scheduled to be in Bengaluru on Sunday and said he strives to showcase both the ancient and modern sides of India to international delegates.
The prime minister said the current government is fulfilling the long-pending demand for the Bhadra project and all this development is fast changing the face of Karnataka.
Emphasizing the importance of the next 25 years, he highlighted the significant steps that can be taken by the Delhi Karnataka Sangh.
The central focus should be kept on knowledge and art and highlighted the beauty of the Kannada language and its rich literature.
The state is rich in both classical and popular arts — from Kamsale to Carnatic style of music and from Bharatnatyam to Yakshagaan.
Praising the efforts of the Karnataka Sangh to popularise these art forms, Modi stressed the need to take these efforts to the next level and asked Delhi-based Kannadiga families to try and bring non-Kannadiga families to such events.
He noted that some films that depicted Kannada culture became very popular among non-Kannadiga audiences and created a desire to know more about Karnataka.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, several other BJP leaders, including Union minister Pralhad Joshi, and religious figures were present in the function.
Bommai said the state is rich in natural resources, culture and technology and will play a big role in realising Modi’s resolve of making India a USD 5 trillion economy.
Karnataka in the coming years will contribute a share of USD 1 trillion to the national economy, he said.
He also invited Modi to the “Akhil Bharatiya Vishwa Kannada Sahitya Sammelana” to be held next year in Davanagere district.