Kerala close to me as Varanasi: PM

Says Centre planning separate departments for animal husbandry, fisheries

Dispelling apprehensions about the Centre’s neglect of the State, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Kerala is as important to him as Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

He was addressing the ‘Abhinandan Sabha,’ the first public meeting organised by the BJP State committee after he was elected as Prime Minister for a second consecutive term at Guruvayur on Saturday. Earlier, Mr. Modi had darshan at the Sree Krishna temple.

The Prime Minister congratulated the people for taking part in the election process.

‘‘Many political observers must have wondered why I chose Guruvayur for the first public meeting after the elections, when the BJP could not even open its account in the State,’’ Mr. Modi said on a lighter note.

“There may be differences of opinion during elections. But once elected, welfare of the entire country is of paramount importance for a government. So I am taking this opportunity to congratulate those who tried for the victory of the BJP and those who did not,” Mr. Modi said.

Political pundits, analysts and even surveys could not predict the people’s will correctly. They took the decisive decision in the election. People are Gods in a democratic country, he said.

“I have joined politics not to win elections. I am here to build a new country. BJP workers don’t work just for elections. They function throughout the year for the welfare of people,’’ Mr. Modi said.

He reminded the BJP workers not to get affected with success or defeat. Nothing should deviate us from our goal of taking development to each and everyone in society.

Mr. Modi said Kerala had a huge employment scope in the tourism sector. “Various projects implemented by the NDA government in the last five years have put the country in the third position in the global tourism map. The Centre has allotted seven projects under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme for Kerala.”

The Prime Minister said that animal wealth was the foundation of rural economy. The Union government would implement a vaccination campaign on the lines of pulse polio drive to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, Mr. Modi said. The government was also planning a separate department for animal husbandry and fisheries, he said.

BJP Thrissur district president A. Nagesh presided. Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, BJP State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai and other BJP leaders participated in the function.

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