Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party was committed to empowering women, and the government has taken steps to give benefits to all sections. He said this during his virtual address after inaugurating the Durga Puja festivities in West Bengal.The Prime Minister during his virtual address said, "The government is working towards providing basic infrastructure to people in West Bengal, 30 lakh poor have been provided houses under the PMAY and in the Ujjwala scheme 90 lakh connections have been provided."Modi said that to empower the women, "The government has opened 22 crore Jan Dhan accounts, extended maternity leave and enforced more stringent laws to curb crime against women."He said Goddess Durga symbolises women power and the government is working towards it, while also mentioning laws made to scrap instant triple talaq, capital punishment to the rapists, permanent commission to women in the armed forces.
The Prime Minister said that the government is working towards the upliftment of eastern India. He recalled the great personalities from the state, from Guru Rabindranath Tagore to Qazi Nazrul Islam and mentioned about Bengal's rich culture and history. "The people of Bengal have made the country proud and will do so in the future too," he said.On the occasion, Modi also cautioned people about Covid-19 and said, "We're all celebrating Durga Puja this year amidst the Covid pandemic. Everyone has shown immense control and commitment to the entire arrangements while also ensuring that the flavour remains the same."He said the number of people might be less due to the pandemic but the grandeur and devotion are the same. Happiness and joy are still boundless in the festival and he was proud to be part of the celebrations, he added. This is the real Bengal and people should adhere to physical distancing, he said.Earlier, the Prime Minister was welcomed by Union Minister Babul Supriyo with Rabindra Sangeet and blowing of conches. The virtual address was watched at several places in the state.