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At Punjab election rally, PM Modi says his govt following Sant Ravidas’ teachings

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Pathankot, Feb 16 (PTI) Invoking Guru Ravidas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told voters in Punjab that the welfare of the poor is above everything else for his government which is following the saint’s ideals.

He also said the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh were making all-out efforts to ensure that the pilgrims from Punjab and around the country, who are currently visiting Varanasi on the occasion of Guru Ravidas Jayanti, are facilitated in every manner.

“Today is Sant Ravidas Jayanti. Before coming here, I went to Guru Ravidas Vishram Mandir (in Delhi) and sought blessings,” Modi said addressing a poll rally in Pathankot, Punjab.

Notably, the mystic poet-reformer who preached against social prejudices enjoys a nationwide following, especially among Dalits, and the community members are present in large numbers in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are being held.

Modi, who had joined devotees in singing bhajans at the temple in Delhi, began his speech at the rally here by paying tributes to Guru Ravidas.

He said the welfare of the poor was above everything else for his government and it was taking inspiration from Guru Ravidas’ teachings and following his ideals.

Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic in his speech, Modi said it has engulfed the whole world, but the BJP government gave priority to what Saint Ravidas said, “Mile Saban Ko Ann (everyone should get food)”.

“Because of COVID-19, poor people in many countries have been facing problems including that of food. But at this difficult hour, amid the pandemic that has engulfed the whole world, India is providing free ration to crores of its countrymen,” Modi said.

In Punjab, lakhs of poor are being provided free ration for the last two years, he said, adding, “We have made an attempt that no poor should sleep hungry”.

He said his government also provided free COVID-19 vaccines so that lives are saved.

“Nearly 95 percent of people have received their first dose…,” he said.

As the saint’s followers visit Varanasi in large numbers on the occasion of his birth anniversary, the Election Commission had changed the date of Punjab polls from February 14 to February 20 following a request from various parties.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi also visited Varanasi on Wednesday and paid obeisance at the birthplace of Guru Ravidas.

“As the Varanasi MP, it is my responsibility to see that when you are my guest, I have to ensure the devotees get all facilities,” the prime minister said.

Railways is also running two special trains to facilitate the devotees coming from Punjab, said Modi.

The BJP is contesting the election in Punjab in alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa led SAD (Sanyukt).

“We will build Nawa Punjab of the 21st century by following ideals of Gurus and Saints. By Nawa Punjab, I mean a happy and prosperous Punjab. This is our pledge,” Modi said at the rally, stressing his government was working on the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’. PTI SUN CHS VSD RT RT

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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