Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that to glorify one family, deliberate attempts were being made to belittle the contributions of other towering leaders in nation building, as he paid rich tributes to Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
In a veiled attack on the Congress, he said it was spreading "lies, confusion and pessimism" and was cut off from the ground reality.
"It is unfortunate that to glorify one family, deliberate attempts were made to belittle the contributions of other towering personalities in the country," Modi told a public meeting after launching the Mohanpura Irrigation Project in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh.
He said the party which ruled the country for maximum years never trusted the people and their hard work.
He said when the Congress ruled the state, Madhya Pradesh was called a BIMARU state, but the BJP government pulled the state out of that tag.
"The Congress never saw this as an insult to the people of the state. The BJP had worked hard to remove this tag," he added.
Modi said in the past four years at the Centre and 13 years in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had worked for the uplift and empowerment of poor, farmers and deprived sections of society.
"In the last four years, we never spoke of frustration and dismay. We are the ones who are marching ahead with confidence," he said, adding that people believed in the BJP and its government, which was working for their welfare. People trust the BJP and its government. Your huge presence here is a proof of it. But those spreading lies, confusion and pessimism are cut off from the ground reality," he said.
Recalling Mookerjee's contribution to the country, Modi said, "His vision inspires us even today and helps us come out of despondency."
As independent India's first industries and supplies minister (in the Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet), he framed the nation's maiden industrial policy, the prime minister said.
Mookerjee believed that the government should fulfil the dreams of its people and improve the life of the poor, Modi said.
His thoughts and actions for the country's industrial policy, things he had done in the areas of education, women empowerment and nuclear policy were far ahead of his times and they are still relevant, the prime minister said.
Education, finance, development, health and national security were his main focus areas, Modi said.
"His vision was to impart skills to the youth and give them opportunity so that they become capable of serving the country. Programmes such as Startup India and Make in India are a reflection of his ideas," he said.
"Today BJP's government at the Centre and in the states are running based on the vision of Mookerjee," he added.
He said Mookerjee died in a "suspicious" manner in Kashmir, where he was on a visit in 1953.
"It is a coincidence that today is the death anniversary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee. On June 23, he died in a suspicious manner in Kashmir. I remember him on this occasion."
The BJP, the successor party of the BJS, observes June 23 as 'Balidan Diwas'.
For the Mohanpura Irrigation Project, the prime minister gave credit to the labourers "who worked hard with tools and machines, sweating it out day and night".
"I have just done the formality of launching the project by pressing the button, but it's actual launch was done when they toiled hard for it," he said.
The project would supply drinking water to 400 villages and its water will reach more than 700 villages, he said, adding that it would irrigate 1.25 lakh hectares of land.
"It is a great service to women and sisters who face lot of difficulties in fetching water from long distances," he said.
"I congratulate all the people associated with these water projects, including the people who carried the bricks on their heads...They have done a great job in nation building," Modi said.
Praising Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the prime minister said when the BJP came to power in the state, the irrigation capacity of the state was 7.5 lakh hectares.
"But it rose to 40 lakh hectares in 2018 and the state government is working on expanding it further to 80 lakh hectares by 2024," he added.
He said MP's agricultural average growth rate has been 18 per cent in the last five years, which is the highest in the country.
Modi also said that soil health cards were given to 14 crore farmers in the country, including 1.25 crore in Madhya Pradesh.
The prime minister also highlighted achievements of various other schemes including Crop Insurance Scheme, Ujjwala Yojana, and making mandis online under eNAM project.
Under Ujjwala Yojana, four crore women were given LPG cylinders free of cost, including 40 lakh in Madhya Pradesh, he said.