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New Delhi: Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, said on Sunday that there is a need to boost manufacturing to revive the domestic economy.

Modi said the three pillars to develop the country were that agriculture should have a one-third share of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), manufacturing sector should account for one-third and the services sector should account for the rest. The manufacturing sector contributes to 14% of GDP.

“These are the three things that are needed to develop the country. We cannot let any of them go unattended," Modi said at the hustings in Jagraon in Punjab. Modi had first started his public meetings from Punjab on 23 June last year after becoming the BJP’s chief poll campaigner. Punjab has a total of 13 Lok Sabha seats, but the importance of the state increases because people of Punjab are settled in all states of northern India, including Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.

While talking about the need to reform the agricultural sector, Modi said new technology must be introduced to increase yields. “Land is limited and because of the increase in division of land within a family, there is smaller land with farmers," he said. “We must increase yield and also introduce value addition in agricultural sector to increase the income of farmers. There should be better branding and marketing of agricultural products."

The Gujarat chief minister said there is an urgent need to increase the number of cold storages and warehouses so that there is management of foodgrain and farm produce to help reduce wastage. “The Food Corporation of India must be divided in three different sections. The first section must handle procurement, second must look at storage and management and third section must handle distribution. These three must only focus on how to improve work with greater efficiency," he said.

Modi also said that the BJP-led alliance was called National Democratic Alliance (NDA) during the election, but that the focus of the alliance is development. “When in government, NDA stands for national development alliance. Our only focus is development. We only believe in development," said Modi. The BJP now has three main partners in its coalition—the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab and the Shiv Sena and RPI in Maharashtra. It has also entered into a pact with some smaller parties in Tamil Nadu.

Hoping to increase the number of both pre-poll and post-poll alliance partners before the Lok Sabha election, Modi praised prominent leaders, including Devi Lal and Bansi Lal of Haryana, and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah of Jammu and Kashmir. Modi said he had learnt governance by watching these leaders.

“I have worked for the BJP in states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir," he said. “I got the opportunity to learn governance from Prakash Singh Badal, Devi Lal, Bansi Lal, Farooq Abdullah and Shanta Kumar."

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