Narendra Modi praises Pradhan at LPG rally

Vol 19, PW 17 (05 May 16) People & Policy

Dharmendra Pradhan's chest swelled with pride when Narendra Modi praised him at a rally on May 1 to launch a government scheme to deliver free LPG to poor families.

Witnessed by PETROWATCH, Modi's helicopter landed in hot and dusty Balliya in Uttar Pradesh at 11.42am and he walked to the stage instead of using a car while hundreds of thousands of people cheered. By 11.50am Modi was on stage, flanked by former oil minister and current UP governor Ram Naik as well as Pradhan, BJP leaders, oil secretary KD Tripathi, IndianOil chairman B.

Ashok and Hindustan Petroleum chief MK Surana. At 11.55 am, Pradhan began speaking in Hindi welcoming Modi and others.

"Balliya is the birthplace of Mangal Pandey [an Indian freedom fighter] and [former PM] Chandra Shekhar," said Pradhan. "Our PM promised his government will work for the poor.

He understands the pain of women using wood and cow dung as fuel to cook food. Today is a historic day." Modi then launched the scheme by presenting cardboard cut-outs of LPG cylinders to 10 women.

At 12.10 am, Modi addressed the crowd and thanked Pradhan and his team at the oil ministry for their "good" work. "I've changed the perception that the oil industry works only for the rich," thundered Modi.

"Under Pradhan's leadership the oil ministry is working for the poor."

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