MATHURA: Kicking off his government’s one-year anniversary celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the NDA regime had ended nepotism and the preponderance of power brokers in the corridors of power while highlighting the measures taken in the interests of farmers and the poor.
“More than political circles, Delhi has so far been dominated by power circles who had a vice-like grip. Abhimanyu (of Mahabharata) had to destroy eight power circles. But in Delhi, there were hundreds of power circles. With your blessings, those hundreds of circles of power circles have been demolished now,” the PM said while emphasizing the drop in high-level corruption under his charge which has been seen as his big achievement.
“Bure din has started for netaji’s damaad, for netaji’s son,” he said in a jibe at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
The speech saw Modi changing the terms of debate on whether his regime has spelt good times or ” acche din “. Faced with questions whether his government has measured up to the expectations he generated during his energetic campaign, Modi tweaked the issue by emphasizing that his regime had certainly spelt the end of bad days which were characterized by scams and corruption, remote-controlled governance, nepotism, despair, misdeeds and bad intent of the rulers.
“Have not bad days ended?” Modi asked his audience as he stressed his achievement in curbing corruption and repeated his pledge to work for the poor. “Just think what would have been the situation if the last Lok Sabha election had not happened in 2014 and if the government had not changed,” Modi said.
Speaking against the backdrop of charges of being pro-rich and anti-farmer, Modi dwelt at length on the measures taken by his government for the benefit of the underprivileged and farmers even as he emphasized his focus on job creation for the youth.
Apart from corruption, the concern for farmers clearly came through with the PM saying his government’s priority was to give a better life to agriculturists. Though there was no mention of the controversial land acquisition bill which has been blocked by opposition parties, Modi promised soil health cards to farmers in the next three years and 24×7 electricity in the next five years.
Mentioning that three lakh farmers had committed suicide in the last 60 years, Modi appealed to parties not to do politics on the issue. “The need is to sit together and think why the condition of farmers is so bad,” he said.
Detailing the good work undertaken over the past year, Modi invoked Rajiv Gandhi and said the former PM used to say that only 15 paise out of every rupee released from Delhi reached the intended beneficiaries. He said that to ensure that 100% money reached the villages, his government made sure that poor and middle class people had bank accounts in which money meant as subsidy would be directly transferred. He said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna had facilitated opening of 15 crore new bank accounts.
“If I go into details of each and every work that the BJP government has done in the past one year, we will find even 365 hours short for it,” Modi said.
The PM said he chose a remote village for the occasion instead of Delhi or any state capital because this was the birthplace of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya who talked of Antyoday. “As my government is committed for welfare of poor, I chose this small village to present my government’s report card to 125 crore countrymen,” he said.
Modi said his government was driven by the political philosophy of Gandhi, Lohia and Deen Dayal whose central theme was welfare of the poor and farmers and good governance.
The PM said he had fulfilled the commitment of minimum government and maximum governance, saying that work which used to take 3-4 years earlier were being done within weeks.
He also said inflation had come down while flight of capital abroad had stopped as Indian businessmen were investing in the country.