Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the development of Karnataka has been a top priority of the ruling BJP whereas previous dispensations used to divert its money outside the state. He also said his government has worked for India's progress by taking along traditions as well as technology."There was a time when people after forming government in Karnataka would take its money outside. Today, the country's money and resources are honestly directed towards Karnataka's development," he said after inaugurating the "Barisu Kannada Dim Dimava" cultural festival here.
The prime minister said the state annually got Rs 11,000 crore between 2009 and 2014 when the Congress-led UPA was in power, while it has risen to Rs 30,000 crore under his government. While the state received a total of only Rs 4,000 crore for railway projects in the five years preceding 2014, when Modi took the office, the amount in the latest budget alone is Rs 7,000 crore. While nearly Rs 6,000 crore was spent on building highways in the state in the five years before he came to power, it is now Rs 5,000 crore annually for the last nine years, Modi said.
The face of Karnataka is changing rapidly due to the fast pace of development, he said. Assembly polls are expected to be held in the state in May this year, and the BJP has been working overtime to retain power in the southern state. The prime minister said his government has worked for India's progress by taking along traditions as well as technology. If it has rejuvenated ancient temples and cultural centers, then India has also become a world leader in digital payment, he said. His government has brought back stolen idols and artifacts while also drawing record FDI in the country, Modi said.
He also lauded Karnataka's contribution to nation-building and paid tributes to its leading figures from different walks of life. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, several other BJP leaders, including Union ministers, and religious figures were present at the function. Bommai said the state is rich in natural resources, culture, and technology and will play a big role in realizing Modi's resolve of making India a USD 5 trillion economy. Karnataka in the coming years will contribute a share of USD 1 trillion to the national economy, he said. He also invited Modi to the "Akhil Bharatiya Vishwa Kannada Sahitya Sammelana" to be held next year in the Davanagere district.