Ruling out a rethink on decisions on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that his government remains and will remain firm on the steps, which have been taken in national interest despite pressure from all sides.
"Be it the scrapping of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir or the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the country waited for decisions on these for years," he told a public meeting in Varanasi during a day-long visit to his Lok Sabha constituency.
"These decisions were necessary in the interest of the nation. Duniya bhar ke saarey dabaon ke bawjood, inn faislon par hum qayam hain, qayam rahengey (Despite pressure from all sides, we remain firm on the decisions and will continue to remain firm," Modi said.
Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special powers to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, were abrogated by the government in August 2019.
The prime minister's remark assumes significance in view of protests against the CAA in various parts of the country.
Citing certain key decisions of his government, PM Modi referred to the trust set up for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and asserted that it would work “rapidly.”
"A trust has been formed for the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. This trust will work rapidly," he said.
He said that after setting up of the trust, the work on the construction of 'Ram dham' will start with fast speed.
The government had recently set up the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra on the Supreme Court's directive to the Union government to form a trust that can look into the construction and management of the temple.
The prime minister earlier launched or laid foundation of 50 projects worth Rs 1,254 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency.
He also flagged off IRCTC's 'Maha Kaal Express' through video link during his day-long visit to the city.
It will be the first overnight private train in the country to connect three Jyotirling pilgrimage centres of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Ujjain and Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister dedicated to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre and unveiled a 63-foot statue of the RSS ideologue -- the tallest statue of the leader in the country.
"The soul of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay give us encouragement. We are working for uplift of Dalits, deprived and others sections. And this is what Upadhyay's 'Antyoday' says - to give all facilities to last beneficiary in the queue," Modi said.
He said that in past few years, Rs 25,000 crore worth developmental projects have either completed or were going on in fast speed in Varanasi.
Roadway, highway, waterway and railway have been given top priority by the government and the Purvanchal Expressway work was going on at fast speed in Uttar Pradesh.
The prime minister also laid emphasis on better connectivity of heritage and religious sites, saying that tourism will be the main source of making the country 5 trillion dollar economy.
He said, "Our behaviour as a citizen will decide the direction of the country in future. The country is not made by governments only, but the values of people residing here."
Soon after his arrival here, Modi participated in the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of the Shri Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul and released the translated version of the Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth in 19 languages and its mobile application.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa were present on the occasion. Modi also inaugurated a 430-bed super-speciality government hospital here.