India Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his a visit to his hometown Vadnagar on Sunday. Since 2014 when he took over the top job in the country, Modi didn’t visit his birthplace. During the visit, the PM went to visit the school he had attended.
He was greeted by hundreds of people as his convoy of black SUVs made their way to a multi-specialty hospital, awaiting inauguration by him, in the little town which is barely 100 kilometers from Ahmedabad. The hospital in Vadnagar that he has inaugurated is a Rs. 400-crore six-storied project, which is also the first-of-its-kind in the town.
Modi Ji left his security behind and walked to the entrance of the school. As before his entry to parliament after the election victory in 2014, he knelt at the school’s entrance and bowed before entering the grounds.
The Prime Minister kneeled down and touched the dust on the ground and applied it on his forehead like a ’tilak’. It was a matter of great pride that the “son of the soil” was the Prime Minister and was visiting the town after a long time, locals told.
“This visit will bring back several memories from my childhood,” PM Modi had tweeted. It is the same town in east Gujarat where at a railway station PM Modi used to help his father sell tea when he was a child. The rundown tea stall has now been spruced up and decked up with flowers. The railway station, till a few months back, was just a small structure, but work on expanding it has started.
“I started my journey from Vadnagar and now I have reached Kashi (Varanasi). Just like Vadnagar, Kashi is also the town of Bhole Baba (Lord Shiva). Bhole Baba’s blessings gave me immense strength, and this strength is the biggest gift I have received from this land,” PM Modi said.
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He also recalled his journey to Delhi from Gujarat where he was the chief minister for 13 years from 2001. He said he has managed to serve the nation with the blessings of Lord Shiva since 2001 despite some people “spewing venom” at him during these years.
He was apparently referring to the attacks on him during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister after the riots of 2002 in the state.
This is the Prime Minister’s third visit in less than a month to Gujarat where assembly elections are slated for the end of this year. Party chief Amit Shah has set the BJP a target of 150 of the state’s 182 seats.