PM Modi begins three-day Gujarat visit; to inaugurate projects ahead of election

Declaring Modhera, the country’s first 24X7 solar-powered village, he said people could now also earn money by selling the additional power to State utilities; raises Sun Temple’s tumultuous past

October 09, 2022 06:18 pm | Updated October 10, 2022 10:17 am IST - Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a ceremony to lay the foundation stone and dedicate development works at Modhera village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district on October 9, 2022. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube via PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during a ceremony to lay the foundation stone and dedicate development works at Modhera village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district on October 9, 2022. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube via PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while declaring Modhera village in Gujarat as India’s first 24x7 solar-powered village, talked about how invaders in the past tried their best to raze the historic Sun Temple in Modhera and the atrocities they committed on the people of the region.

“What they (invaders) had not done to raze the temple? What atrocities were not inflicted by the invaders on the people of Modhera,” he said, adding “the same Modhera and this temple today has shown the way by becoming the first solar-powered village in the country.”

The Sun temple in Modhera, 70 km from Ahmedabad, is a magnificent relic of stone masonry built during the Solanki Empire in Gujarat. The temple was attacked and invaded twice, first by Mehmood Ghazni during his raid of Gujarat and then by Allauddin Khilji.

The Prime Minister’s reminder about the Sun temple’s past comes a day after the ruling BJP cornered their rival, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, painting him as anti-Hindu ahead of the Assembly election in the State.

The discourse during this campaign season has often drifted into the direction of polarisation and communal disharmony as had happened when Muslim men where publicly flogged by the police and the State’s junior home minister publicly supported the cops for “treating the stone pelters in their own language”.

Also, the State authorities’ demolition drive in Bet Dwarka and in Porbandar, where hundreds of structures in minority areas were razed, was called anti-encroachment drive.

This was second time the Prime Minister mentioned the medieval invasion of temples by Muslim rulers in Gujarat. In June this year, he unfurled the temple flag at Pavagadh near Vadodara and stressed that for five centuries, the temple remained without its flag after it was invaded and partially razed by a 15th century ruler.

In his speech on Sunday too, he mentioned the return of the flag to the Pavagadh temple.

Of infra and development

Speaking about solar power generation atop the roofs of offices and residences in Modhera, the Prime Minister pointed out that not only is the power so generated free, people can also earn money by selling the additional power to State utilities.

“From today, people in Modhera will no longer pay for electricity but will instead sell it and earn from it. Earlier, the government supplied power to residents; now, with the installation of solar panels, residents now produce their own electricity,” he said amid AAP’s pre-poll sop of 300 units of free electricity if voted to power in the State.

In Modhera, all residents have installed rooftop solar panels on their home under the State government’s scheme.

The Prime Minister also talked about infrastructure developments in Ambaji, Somnath and other places and said that all of them now attract tourists from across the country.

Seeking people’s “blessings” for more development, the Mr. Modi said the people of Gujarat have blessed him for the past two decades and voted for him irrespective of his caste.

The Prime Minister is in Gujarat on a three-day visit to launch new projects and inaugurate a few completed projects ahead of the announcement of the poll schedule for the State election. He will visit Jamnagar, Jambusar and Rajkot, besides Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, for various political and State government events.

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