Hailing the Modi government for its achievements in the first year of its rule, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the BJP-led coalition had been able to restore the stature, dignity and credibility of the Prime Minister’s Office that was missing in the UPA era.
Jaitley, often perceived as the chief troubleshooter of the government, also indicated that the good days that the BJP had promised had arrived.
If the country is able to get rid of corruption, get a decisive government, raise its stature globally, create social security (for its people), then these are achche din, Jaitley said at a media briefing at the party headquarters. “Lekin aur acche din bhi aapke liye aayenge (But there will be better days for you),” he added quickly.
‘Acche din aayenge’ (good days will come) was the BJP’s campaign theme in last year’s Lok Sabha election, a slogan that often exposed the party to jibes from political rivals. Jaitley sought to silence them on Saturday.
Stating that inflation had remained under control in the past one year, the finance minister however admitted that global economy, the agrarian situation as well as domestic investments remain a challenge to the economy.
Listing out the government’s initiatives, Jaitley said the financial inclusion and social security schemes had been a big success with over 15 crore Jan Dhan accounts being opened and 7.5 crore people availing life and accidental insurance cover under the Jan Suraksha and Jeevan Jyoti schemes.
Jaitley added that minorities in the country were safe and in the past one year, the government had made attempts to ensure there is no social tension.
On provocative statements made by BJP leaders, the finance minister said they were told not to do so and some incidents like attacks on churches were found to be law and order issues.
Jaitley expressed hope that the party would win the forthcoming assembly election in Bihar and ridiculed the desperate efforts by rivals to put together an impractical coalition to stop the BJP. “Those who went to jail (Lalu Prasad in fodder scam) and those who sent them to jail (Nitish Kumar who pursued the case) have come together to stop us,” Jaitley said. The BJP also announced a host of programmes to mark the government’s first anniversary.