Five key promises made by PM Modi on India's 69th I-Day

  • Agencies, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2015 12:04 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering the 69th Independence Day speech from Red Fort in New Delhi (Photo courtesy: YouTube)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to tackle corruption, provide electricity to more than 18,000 villages without power and end communalism during his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the 17th century Red Fort on Saturday.

In addition to it, Modi said that a positive outcome was expected on the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for which ex-armymen have been protesting since the last two months.

Modi's commitment on corruption comes after some of the most senior figures in the Bharatiya Janata Party became embroiled in corruption scandals, including foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Here are the top five promises made by Modi:

Providing electricity to 18,500 villages in the next 1,000 days

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to provide electricity to 18,500 villages without power in the country in the next 1,000 days.

"There are 18,500 villages in the country where electricity is yet to reach. If we keep working with old ways, then maybe we will take 10 years to get electricity poles to these villages," Modi said in his Independence Day address.

Modi said he met government officials and asked them how to proceed in order to provide electricity supply.

"The officials replied that they can do it only by 2019," he said.

"The country is not ready to wait that long," he added.

"So Team India pledges today that power will reach these villages within the next 1,000 days."

Tackling corruption

Modi warned that corruption was eating away at India "like a termite" pledged his commitment to eradicating graft and poverty.

But it was his comments on the dangers posed by corruption that drew most attention, including his admission that the problem went right to the top.

"I want to reaffirm that this nation will get rid of corruption. We can rid the country of corruption, we have to start from the top," said Modi.

"Corruption is like a termite, it spreads slowly, reaches everywhere but it can be beaten with timely injections."

Bringing back black money

Modi said a host of steps have been taken by his government to tackle black money – from the appointment of a special probe team to enacting a stringent law to prevent such practices and punish its perpetrators.

The Prime Minister said that when he took over last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing some 800 cases of black money. Now 1,800 cases were being examined.

"Many people did not like this," he said, adding this had to be done and already several thousand crores of rupees have been collected from people who have begun to declare their ill-gotten assets.

Communalism and casteism

Modi said there is no place for casteism or communalism in India, and added that these two menaces would not be tolerated at all.

"Be it casteism or communalism, there is no place for them. In no way can they be tolerated. If the unity of India is destroyed, then the dreams of the people are also destroyed," he said.

'Positive outcome' to OROP

Modi said the One Rank One Pension scheme has been accepted by the government "in principle", adding that he is expecting a "positive outcome".

"People of India sleep in peace because of the jawans. For the 125 crore people of Team India, the soldiers are national resource," Modi said.

“Many governments came, OROP came in front of everyone... Everyone promised, but no solution was reached," he said.

Modi said even after his government came, the problem has not yet been resolved.

"I am assuring again, it is not a person speaking, I am speaking on the behalf of 125 crore people, under the tricolour, from the ramparts of Red Fort... In principle we have accepted One Rank One Pension. The phase of discussions is on," Modi said.

"The trust with which talks are on, we are expecting a positive outcome," he said.

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