PM Modi rules out rethink on Article 370, CAA ‘despite pressure’

Launches, lays foundation stone of 50 projects worth Rs 1,254 crore in Varanasi

Varanasi (UP), February 16

Ruling out any rethink on the CAA and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that his government remains and will remain firm on the steps despite pressure from all sides.

“Be it the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir or the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the country waited for decisions on these for years,” he told a public meeting here during a day-long visit to his Lok Sabha constituency.

“These decisions were necessary in the interest of the nation. Duniya bhar ke saarey dabao ke bawjood, inn faislon par hum qayam hain aur qayam rahengey (Despite pressure from all sides, we remain firm on these decisions and will continue to remain firm,” Modi said.

Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by the government in August last year.

The prime minister’s tough talk assumed significance in view of protests against the CAA in various parts of the country.

Citing certain key decisions of his government, Modi referred to the trust set up for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and asserted that it would work “rapidly”.

“A trust has been formed for the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. This trust will work rapidly,” he said.

He said after setting up of the trust, the work on the construction of ‘Ram dham’ will start with fast speed and added that his government has also decided to transfer 67 acres of land to the trust.

The government had recently set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra on the Supreme Court’s directive to the Union government to form a trust that can look into the construction and management of the temple.

The prime minister earlier launched or laid foundation of 50 projects worth Rs 1,254 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency.

He also flagged off IRCTC’s ‘Maha Kaal Express’ through video link during his day-long visit to the city.

It will be the first overnight privately-run train in the country to connect three Jyotirling pilgrimage centres of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Ujjain and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.

The prime minister dedicated to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre and unveiled a 63-foot statue of the RSS ideologue—the tallest statue of the leader in the country.

“The soul of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya gives us encouragement. We are working for uplift of Dalits, deprived and others sections. And this is what Upadhyaya’s ‘Antyoday’ says — to give all facilities to last beneficiary in the queue,” Modi said.

He also inaugurated a 430-bed super-speciality government hospital here.

He said that in past few years, Rs 25,000 crore worth developmental projects have either completed or were going on in fast speed in Varanasi. — PTI

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