We don’t believe in delays: Modi takes a dig at UPA in I-Day speech

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2016 11:54 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Independence Day celebration at Red Fort in New Delhi on Monday. (Arvind Yadav/ HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned to policy paralysis, the bugbear for the previous government, to target the Congress-led UPA in his Independence Day speech even as he praised all parties for paving the way for the goods and services tax.

Modi avoided adverse comments about the UPA government in his third address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, but his remarks that his government didn’t believe in delaying decisions was read by many as a reference to the accusations of policy paralysis that the Manmohan Singh government faced in its last years.

And once he started citing examples, it was clear he was comparing the two governments.

“Hum cheezo ko taalne me bishwas nehi karte. Hum talna nehi, takraana jante hain (we don’t believe in delaying things, we believe in taking things head on),” the PM said as millions tuned in to watch him on television.

Modi then talked about his government’s decision to declassify files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. “There was a long-pending demand to open the files on Netaji. But a decision was avoided. I have opened those files.”

The Centre in January started making public files related to Bose, a move that was expected to shed more light on the mysterious disappearance of the freedom fighter in 1945 after an air crash in Taiwan.

Read | Want to change lives of common people, says Modi in I-Day speech

Modi also mentioned the delay in the implementation of the land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh, a reference to the legislation to redraw the country’s boundary on the east to resolve the long-standing issue of conclaves.

“During our time, the bill was passed unanimously in both Houses of Parliament,” he said.

The real estate bill, which aims to regulate the booming sector, was the third example Modi cited to draw comparison with the previous government.

Though conceived by the UPA, the bill that will protect homebuyers’ interests was passed earlier this year.

“If someone goes to buy flats, they are given nicely printed book. Obviously, the common man doesn’t understand the technical details. He books a property but then waits endlessly for its delivery. We have solved his problem,” Modi said.

Read more | Modi’s Independence Day speech: Here are the top quotes

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