India will ensure 24x7 electricity and housing for all by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, announcing his pro-poor government had stopped corruption and fulfilled his election promise of achhe din (good days) for everyone except those who looted the country.
Speaking at a mega rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura to mark one year of being in office, Modi presented a report card of his government and hit out at the Congress for a string of scams that he said brought down the previous UPA administration.
“There are few for whom ‘bure din’ (bad days) have returned and they are those making the most noise,” Modi said. He, however, did not name anyone but raked up corruption in the UPA regime time and again.
Modi asserted his government was committed to the welfare of the poor, close on the heels of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi dubbing his regime as a 'suit-boot ki sarkar (read pro-corporate)'.
The PM listed his regime’s pro-poor schemes, including weeding out middlemen from LPG distribution, curbing a galloping inflation and issuing soil health cards but didn’t mention a contentious land acquisition bill that has been stalled in Parliament by a united Opposition, which says the legislation will be used to rob farmers.
“I am here to seek the blessings of the masses after having completed 365 days at the Centre and would move ahead with your blessings,” he said.
The BJP has planned nearly 200 public rallies by its senior leaders across the country to mark the first year of the NDA government amid mounting criticism over the slowing pace of economic reform and allegedly pro-industrialist policies.
Modi tackled some of that criticism, saying small traders and businessmen, not big corporate firms, created the maximum employment and the government was investing heavily in skill development to ensure young people got jobs easily.
“We have worked for easy terms for disbursement of pension and a pensioner would not be required to prove he is alive,” he said.
The PM also said corruption scandals involving a “damaad” (son-in-law) had stopped. “Think what would have happened, if the masses allowed the government then in power to rule. There would have been more scams, a government running on remote, politicians and officers landing in jail,” Modi said.
He also talked about his slogan of minimum government, maximum governance, counting achievements in power manufacturing, urea and fertilizer production, creating toilets for women under his flagship Swachh Bharat campaign, and cleaning the Ganga and Yamuna.
“During the UPA govt, we had a foreign exchange of Rs 3,000 crore while we enhanced it to Rs 25000 crores as trust for India has increased globally,” he said.
The insurance and financial inclusion schemes remained in focus throughout as the Varanasi MP said his government had reversed the situation prevalent during the tenure of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, who had said only 15paise of government money out of R1 reached the poor. “The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna has ruled out any such threat,” he said.
He began speaking around 3.45pm after garlanding a statue of freedom fighter Upadhyay and remembering Lord Krishna, who, Modi said, gave the concept of “karma-yoga”
“I could have organized a function to celebrate completion of one year at some big city or capital but suggested to hold it in this village. The politics and policies of this great nation have been influenced by three greats -- Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Deen Dayal Upadhyay -- who stressed on villages and farmers,” Modi said.
Mai pradhan sevak hoon, pradhan trustee hoon, mai lootnay nahii doonga, is liye un logon kay burey din aaye hain pic.twitter.com/KvtythyZFU— ANI (@ANI_news) May 25, 2015