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PM Modi has a 'big heart', implemented demands of opposition, says Arjun Modhwadia

While sharing his personal experience, Modhwadia, who had served as the leader of the opposition in the Gujarat assembly, recalled how Modi kept his word on the Porbandar Airport expansion project even after becoming prime minister despite political differences.
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 11:42 IST
Last Updated : 30 April 2024, 11:42 IST

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Ahmedabad: Former Congress leader from Gujarat Arjun Modhwadia has lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he showed "big heart" by keeping his word on implementing projects suggested by political parties in opposition even after becoming the PM.

As the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi, on most occasions, used to take note of suggestions made by leaders from the opposition camp and implemented the viable ones, he recalled.

While sharing his personal experience, Modhwadia, who had served as the leader of the opposition in the Gujarat assembly, recalled how Modi kept his word on the Porbandar Airport expansion project even after becoming prime minister despite political differences.

Modhwadia joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in March this year after resigning as Porbandar MLA.

"I was the leader of the opposition (from 2004 to 2007) in the Gujarat assembly when Narendra Modi was chief minister. Modiji, on most occasions, tried to implement suggestions which I used to make as the opposition leader", he said.

Modiji had told us that his government considers the suggestions made by the Opposition and implements the viable ones, said Modhwadia who recalled the expansion of the Porbandar airport.

As a senior Congress leader and MLA from Porbandar back then, Modhwadia had raised the matter during the inauguration of a new terminal building at the Porbandar airport in 2008 in front of the then Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi who were the chief guests.

During the inauguration event, Modhwadia highlighted how the short length of the runway at 1,300 meters has limited the landing capabilities of large-body aircraft.

He appealed to Aviation Minister Praful Patel to extend the runway to 2,600 meters to facilitate the airport's development.

In his response, Patel indicated that the expansion depends on the allocation of additional land by Gujarat's Chief Minister, Narendra Modi.

"Modi, without any hesitation, immediately assured from the stage to provide the necessary land. He directed the district administration to identify the land and send a proposal to the government for approval", said Modhwadia.

However, the project got delayed after my defeat in the 2012 assembly elections and Modi's elevation as PM, he said.

Later, the land previously allocated for the airport's expansion was diverted to the Coast Guard, which raised concerns about the expansion, he said.

Modhwadia subsequently approached the then Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and urged him to revive the airport expansion project with the intervention of PM Modi.

"Rupani conveyed my message to the Prime Minister who immediately intervened and gave necessary instructions to officials for the expansion of the airport. Despite our political differences, Modi kept his word. He has a big heart", he said.

Modhwadia won the 2022 assembly elections on a Congress ticket but resigned from the party in March this year. He is contesting the bypolls for the Porbandar assembly seat as a BJP candidate.

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Published 30 April 2024, 11:42 IST

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