GAJWEL: Modi today asked people to beware of its 'fake' protectors trying to divide society and the country and asked the states to severely punish them.
Terming cattle as country's wealth, he said a handful of people were trying to create tension in the society in the name of cow protection.
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"I would like to tell all countrymen that they beware of these fake cow protectors," Modi said.
The Prime Minister asked the states to identify people who want to destroy the social fabric and take stern action against them.
"These handful of people must not be allowed to destroy your good work for their vested interest," he said, while addressing a public meeting on his first visit to Telangana after assuming office.
Modi's comments come at a time when his government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Modi said there is a need to "expose" these people so they do not succeed in their nefarious designs.
India is a land of diversity, he said, adding "protecting our country's unity and integrity is our primary responsibility. To fulfil it all countrymen should protect and serve cows (gau raksha and gau seva karein). Such service enhances national wealth.... it does not create problem for the nation".
"But fake (cow protectors) destroy society and country. We need to beware of these people. There is a need to punish these people. Then alone can we take the nation to great heights," the Prime Minister said after inaugurating a host of development projects.
In his first Town-Hall in Delhi, Modi had yesterday strongly rebuked the cow vigilantes, saying most of them were "anti-social" elements running "shops" in the name of cow protection which made him "angry".Modi talked about vitality of cooperative federalism.
He said there was a time when "language of tension" was spoken between the Centre and the states.
Today, the Centre and the states are working shoulder to shoulder to take the nation to new heights of progress, the Prime Minister said, and asked the states to compete among themselves for further growth and development.
The solution to all our problems lies in development, Modi said.
"If you have the right intention to work for the people, then one can solve every problem," he said.
The Prime Minister said reforms have taken place in the power sector and the Centre is linking economic development with rail connectivity.
Modi urged people to realise the importance of water conservation. "Sadly, we only realise the importance of water when we have no access to it. As citizens it is our duty to conserve water," he said.
The Prime Minister talked about various efforts being made by his government to check leakage and theft of urea and corruption in providing fertiliser subsidy. "We have started Neem coating of urea because of which its theft and diversion to industries have stopped. Neem coated urea cannot be used in industries. This has eliminated corruption and theft and both farmers and the states have started getting fertilisers," Modi said.
He laid the foundation stone of state's first fertiliser plant and dedicated to the nation 1,200 MW thermal power station. Modi also inaugurated Phase I of "Mission Bhagiratha", aimed at providing safe drinking water to people of the area.