Varanasi, Dec 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said cow is mother and sacred to many people and those who find this as "sin" don't realise that livelihood of crores of people depends on cattle.
The PM was addressing a rally after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of 27 projects worth Rs 2,095 crore in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, just months ahead of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Taking a jibe at rival parties, he said those making jokes on cows and buffaloes forget that the livelihood of crores of people depends on "pashudhan" (livestock).
"Cow is mother and sacred to us," he said, adding that some find it as "sin".
In an apparent attack on the Samajwadi Party, Modi said their dictionary contains "mafiavad" and "parivarvad".
"For us, the priority is 'sabka saath, sabka vikas," the PM said.
This is Modi's second visit to his constituency in the past 10 days. Earlier, he had inaugurated the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in the city.
After arriving here in the morning, he laid the foundation stone of Banas Dairy Sankul at Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Karkhiyaon.
Spread across 30 acres, the dairy will be built at a cost of about Rs 475 crore and process about 5 lakh litres of milk per day, according to officials.
The prime minister digitally transferred a bonus of about Rs 35 crore to the bank accounts of more than 1.7 lakh milk producers associated with the dairy.
He also laid foundation stones for a biogas-based electricity generation plant and a homeopathic medical college.
Modi also inaugurated multiple urban development projects, including six for the redevelopment of Old Kashi wards, a parking-and-surface park at Beniabag, beautification of two ponds, a sewage treatment plant and provisioning of advanced surveillance cameras at 720 locations under the Smart City Mission.
Projects in the education sector inaugurated by the prime minister include the Union Education Ministry's Inter University Centre for Teachers Education, built at a cost of around Rs 107 crore, and a teachers' education centre at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, built at a cost of over Rs 7 crore.
He inaugurated a project comprising a doctors' hostel, a nurses' hostel and a shelter home, built at Rs 130 crore, at Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre, a 50-bed Integrated Ayush Hospital at Bhadrasi.