Varanasi: Accusing the erstwhile Congress governments of pursuing "vote bank politics", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took potshots at the Nehru-Gandhi family and reached out to the numerically significant Nishad community in Uttar Pradesh as he launched solar-powered boats for plying on river Ganga.
"India has launched seven satellites to augment the GPS system. With the kind of politics going on in our country and massive work being done, it came to our mind that let's name it (the solar-powered boat project) after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay or Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (the RSS icons)," he said.
"You have already seen how many schemes are named after one family. We also felt tempted to name the project after those who belonged to us. But this Modi is made of a different stuff. I named it Naavik (boatman). I did not name it after any of my family members or any leader. I have given a name, which gives immortality to the fishermen community," Modi said.
Launching 11 solar-powered "e-boats" at the Assi Ghat, the Prime Minister said that the step is in line with his government's focus on making long-term interventions to empower the poor in their fight against poverty and climb up the ladder, which was not the case during previous governments.
"Unfortunately politics in our country took a direction in which policies were always made to strengthen vote bank. The focus was that the vote bank should remain strong, irrespective of whether the poor, the citizens of the country, get empowered or not or the country is strengthened or not.
"Earlier when something was talked about our Nishad brothers, the price of diesel was brought down by one rupee or so in the hope that they will cast their vote in favour. But we have made schemes, which empower the poor to fight and defeat poverty themselves. We are working in that direction," he said listing a number of other schemes.
Reaching out to the backward fishermen and boatmen communities (kevat, nishad, machchuara) and addressing them as "brothers", the Prime Minister said his government is "for the poor".
Updated Date: May 01, 2016 20:49 PM