PM Narendra Modi at the foundation stone laying of Noida International Airport at Jewar. (Image: ANI)
In his over 25-minute-long address to the gathering at the foundation-laying of Noida International Airport on November 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not mention the farm laws, the repeal or the farmers' protest even once.
This despite the project's location being in Jewar region of Western Uttar Pradesh, one of the epicentres of the anti-farm law protests that started a year ago.
READ: Noida International Airport | BJP's infra push to set tone for high-stakes UP Assembly elections
The event was PM Modi’s first public meeting in the region, days after he announced that his government will withdraw the three controversial farm laws.
Modi said on November 19 that his government had decided to repeal the three controversial farm laws, an announcement that received flak from Opposition leaders who questioned the timing – months ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. In the next step, the Union Cabinet on November 24 cleared the Repeal Bill for withdrawal of the farm laws. The Repeal Bill will now be tabled during the Winter Session of Parliament, which starts from November 29 .
Also, read: The political significance of PM Modi’s decision to scrap the contentious farm laws
In his address, after the ground-breaking, that primarily focused on the BJP governments' ‘development for all’ agenda, the Prime Minister hit out at 'some' political parties for keeping their self-interest paramount while launching infrastructure projects. Uttar Pradesh, which was kept in darkness by previous governments, was now leaving its mark not only nationally but internationally too, the PM said.
“Infrastructure is not politics for us but part of national policy, we are ensuring projects don't get stuck and are completed in time,” Modi said reiterating that ‘Sabka Saath - Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’ was his government’s mantra.
Unlike Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath mentioned at the event the sugarcane farmers of the region. “Farmers of this land at some point in the past tried to spread sweetness of sugarcane grown here. But some people caused a series of riots here spoiling the sweetness of sugarcane,” Yogi said in his speech before the Prime Minister.
Also, read: Jewar airport to be North India’s logistics gateway; Noida, Ghaziabad manufacturing hubs to get boost
Modi went on and elaborated how Uttar Pradesh, after being ignored for seven decades, is getting what it deserved with efforts of 'double-engine' government that has been turning the state into country's most connected region. By 'double engine' Modi was referring to the fact that the BJP was in power, both at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister listed the recent projects launched across the country to point out how Opposition parties have failed in deviating his government’s 'vikas' agenda .
“Some time ago, we achieved 100 crore vaccine dose milestone, earlier this month we set the net zero target till 2070, international airport was inaugurated in Kushinagar, a modern railway station in Madhya Pradesh (Habibganj) and now this International airport in Jewar,” he said emphasizing how the BJP has been working towards keeping in requirements of 21st century in mind.
Also, read: Will Jewar airport change the fortunes of Yamuna Expressway and Greater Noida real estate markets?
The only time Modi mentioned farmers was when he said how the local administration had ensured that the land owned by farmers was acquired seamlessly to pave way for ground-breaking of the Noida international airport that he termed "the logistics gateway of north India."
"With your blessings our double engine government will step ahead in UP. I once again wish you for this airport,” he said before signing off.