'Conspiracy was hatched to defame Gujarat globally post 2002 riots', claims PM Modi

Modi claimed that an attempt was made to create an atmosphere of despair in Gujarat and accused the then-central government of showing indifference to the state's development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a programme marking the celebration of 20 years of 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit', at Science City in Ahmedabad, Sept. 27, 2023. (Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a programme marking the celebration of 20 years of 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit', at Science City in Ahmedabad, Sept. 27, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, claimed that there had been a conspiracy to defame Gujarat globally in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots and accused the then central government of showing indifference to the state's development. Modi made these remarks as part of his address at the 20th anniversary of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Ahmedabad.

He said he was a first-time chief minister and faced crises such as the 2001 earthquake, preceding drought years, the collapse of cooperative banks, the 2002 Godhra tragedy and the state-wide violence in its aftermath.

Addressing the gathering, PM Modi remarked: "In 2001, there was an uproar in the economic life of Gujarat. In a way, the financial sector of Gujarat was in crisis. At that time, I had become an MLA for the first time, this role was also new for me, I had no experience of running a government. But the challenge was huge."

"Meanwhile, another incident happened. The heart-wrenching incident of Godhra took place and in the circumstances that followed, Gujarat burst into flames of violence. Hardly anyone would have imagined such a dire situation. Even though I did not have much experience as a Chief Minister at that time, I had unwavering faith in Gujarat and the people of Gujarat." he added.

Attacking the opposition, the PM said "Those who carry an agenda were busy analyzing the events in their own way even at that time. It was said that youth from Gujarat, industries from Gujarat, businessmen from Gujarat will all move out, migrate and Gujarat will be so ruined that it will become a huge burden for the country."

"A conspiracy was hatched to defame Gujarat before the world. An attempt was made to create an atmosphere of despair. It was said that Gujarat would never be able to stand on its own feet. Even in that crisis, I resolved that no matter what the circumstances were, I would take Gujarat out of it." he claimed.

The Prime Minister remembered the indifference of the then-central government towards Gujarat.

"...Those who ran central government earlier used to link Gujarat's development with politics. Ministers from the central government refused to come to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. They used to threaten foreign investors and attempted to stop them from coming to Gujarat. Even after so much threatening, foreign investors came to Gujarat" Modi alleged.

The prime minister said this was possible because of good governance, fair and policy-driven governance, and an equal system of growth and transparency, despite no special incentive.

The Prime Minister explained the success of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit through its journey.

The 2003 edition attracted only a few hundred participants; today more than 40000 participants and delegates and 135 countries take part in the summit, he informed. The number of exhibitors has also increased from 30 in 2003 to more than 2000 today.

He said that India has become the third-largest economy in the world. He asked the industrialists to focus on sectors that will help with new possibilities for India. He asked for a discussion to take place in the startup ecosystem, agri-tech, food processing, and Shri Anna.

Later, Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated development projects worth Rs 5,206 crore in Chhota Udepur, Gujarat, which includes the provision of village Wi-Fi facilities in 22 districts. The PM also discussed about the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ in Vadodara.

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