Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated a slew of developmental projects in Navsari, with focus on the tribal belt ahead of the year end assembly polls in Gujarat.

Batting strongly for incumbent chief minister Bhupendra Patel and Gujarat BJP president CR Patil, Modi said even when he was the chief minister such a big gathering was never held in tribal areas. He credited Patel and Patil for the same and said it is a matter of pride for him to be associated with “Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan” in the “sacred land” of tribal strength and resolve.

Inaugurating seven projects apart from laying foundation stones for several others at Khudvel in Navsari district in South Gujarat, Modi took a jibe at the opposition Congress and alleged that those who ruled the country for so long never bothered to work for the tribal populace as the same called for real hard work.

He also underlined the development works done by the Centre in the last eight years.

While addressing the audience, Modi said he got late for the event as he was interacting with the tribal population. “Now, that I have come to Chikhli after a long time, so many memories are getting refreshened,” he said, adding that his relationship with the tribals goes back a long way. Modi remembered how during his days as a party worker with limited means he never had to sleep hungry because of the affection of these people.”Everyone here is talking about schemes worth ₹3,000 crore being inaugurated today but I remember there was a time when Gujarat had a chief minister from this tribal area whose own village did not have a water tank,” said Modi.

Later while inaugurating a healthcare complex in Navsari, Modi said as Gujarat’s chief minister he had tried to take health services to every poor citizen. According to him, those experiences now help him to provide for poor citizens across the country. “We had created a road map for Swasth Gujarat Ujjwal Gujarat. Schemes to provide free treatment to the poor in case of serious ailments up to ₹2 lakh under the Mukhyamantri Amtritam Yojana also known as MA Yojana was a result of the same,” he said.

“The experience of this scheme led to Ayushman Bharat Yojana which ensured free treatment for the poor citizens for up to ₹5 lakh,” said Modi, adding that more than 40 lakh people of Gujarat have already benefited from the same. The PM also inaugurated Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) at Bopal in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad later in the evening.

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