Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited farmers across the country to watch a mega programme on natural farming on December 16, saying it would prove beneficial for them.
Addressing a rally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur after inaugurating the Saryu Canal National Project, he paid tributes to Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and said his demise is a great loss to the nation.
The prime minister also prayed for the early recovery of Deoria-born Grp Capt Varun Singh, the lone survivor of the Wednesday helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu that killed 13, including Gen Rawat, his wife and 11 armed forces personnel.
In an apparent dig at the Samajwadi Party (SP), Modi said for some the priority is to cut ribbons at inauguration, while for "us the priority is completion of projects on time."
Modi's remark came in the backdrop of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's claim that it is not under the BJP government in the state but under his rule that major works of the Saryu Canal irrigation project were done.
"The country has to pay 100 times more the price due to laxity of previous governments," the prime minister said.
The canal project will provide assured water for irrigation to over 14 lakh hectares of land and benefit about 29 lakh farmers, mainly in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The project has been completed at a cost of over Rs 9,800 crore, out of which more than Rs 4,600 crore was provisioned in the last four years.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya were among those present at the project inauguration programme.
The Saryu canal project also involves interlinking of five rivers -- Ghaghara, Saryu, Rapti, Banganga and Rohini -- to ensure optimum usage of water resources of the region.