After Lakshadweep pitch, PM Modi reiterates call to promote domestic tourism; asks citizens to take 9 pledges

Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 21 (ANI): After the social media fury and a sharp downturn in ties with neighbouring Maldives over viral social media posts by the country’s junior ministers mocking his visit to Lakshadweep, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a fresh pitch for the promotion of domestic tourism.

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During his recent layover at Lakshadweep, PM Modi called for the Indian island cluster to be developed as a destination for beach tourism.

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Addressing the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Khodaldham Trust Cancer Hospital in Gujarat, PM Modi urged fellow countrymen to take nine solemn pledges, including promoting tourism in the country.

“Think about your country first. Do whatever you wish for your country first. If you are planning a vacation, look up tourism sites in your homeland and consider visiting these places with your loved ones. Do what you can to promote tourism in India,” PM Modi said.

Ridiculing PM Modi and his call to promote Lakshadweep as a destination for beach tourism, several junior ministers and government officials in Maldives made disparaging and distasteful remarks against him.

The matter snowballed into a major diplomatic row, with New Delhi summoning the Mandivian envoy to the South Block and registering a strong protest against the viral posts.

‘#BoycottMaldives’ also became a top trend on social media, leading to a flurry of cancellations of scheduled visits and vacations to the idyllic island country.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, PM Modi also called on people to save every drop of water and make people aware of water conservation.

“Go from village to village to make people aware of digital transactions, too. I would also urge all my fellow countrymen to strive to make their villages, localities and cities Number One in cleanliness,” he added.

Renewing his ‘Vocal for Local’ pitch, PM Modi said, “Promote locally-made products and make farmers aware of natural farming. Include millet foods in your everyday diet. I also request you all to embrace sports as a way of life. Most importantly, keep yourselves away from any kind of drug and addiction,” PM Modi said.

He also pushed for ‘Wed in India’ on the lines of ‘Make in India’, asking fellow citizens to refrain from destination weddings and hold such events in the country.

“Is it necessary to hold marriages abroad? Can’t we hold such functions in our country? It is our money that goes into the coffers of someone offshore whenever we hold destination weddings. This trend of holding marriage functions abroad should be shunned. This is why I call on all of you to wed in India,” PM Modi said. (ANI)

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