A public rally - Jan Kalyan Parv - chaired by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah to mark the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre turned out to be a poor show in Karnal on Tuesday.
Even before Shah started his address to count the achievements of the BJP government, a large portion of the venue at Huda grounds in Sector 12 here was empty. Party sources blamed the heat wave and the function's schedule in the afternoon session for the low turnout. Keeping in view the hot weather, the organisers had made elaborated arrangements of misting fans and packaged water was supplied to the gathering on their seats, but it failed to draw audience to the function.
The embarrassment on the faces of organisers was visible as Shah finished off his address in 15 minutes. The BJP chief had flown to Karnal from New Delhi, the home constituency of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, around 1pm. All party legislators, five parliamentarians and functionaries of the state unit of the BJP were present at the function.
Terming the one-year of the Modi government a remarkable period of Indian political history, Shah said the BJP government had initiated several path-breaking steps in national interest. Shah said that today's function was a public audit of the government policies. "Hum khud pichhle ek saal ka hisab dene janta ke paas aaye hain (we are here to give details of the government's one-year performance)," he said.
Shah said corruption-free regime was one of the major successes of the Modi government. "Even the Opposition has failed to point out any case of political corruption by our government. Transparency and accountability in the governance are sacred to the BJP," he said.
The BJP president also attacked the Congress for doing nothing to check black money. The parties that ruled India for 60 years and failed on all fronts are judging us on the basis of our one-year in office, he said. "The previous governments failed to take steps to check black money. But the Modi government in its first cabinet meeting decided to set up a special investigation team to check outflow of black money," he said.
"This is just a beginning. The Modi government has done the work of laying a strong foundation in the country and in the next four years, a grand structure will come up on this solid foundation," he said.
Launching a scathing attack on the Opposition, Shah said the Modi government had adopted a policy of inclusive development with a special focus on the underprivileged. The soil health cards model, which was successfully implemented in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, has been extended to other states to help farmers identify the type of fertilisers and the quantity of water required for crops, he said.
All praise for Khattar
Appreciating the functioning of Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana, Shah said in the past seven months, no allegation of corruption had been levelled against any government functionary. "The Haryana government has set an example of effective implementation of transparent governance. Unlike previous regimes, the present government is free of caste politics. The Centre has also assured Haryana of all support for welfare activities," he said.
Sidelights Brief protest
A woman - Rani Kamboj - protested against the non-implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Haryana. She raised placards in protest when chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was addressing the gathering. The protest led to commotion in the women's gallery and police whisked the protester away from the rally venue.
Shah committed a faux pas on the number of Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. While thanking voters of Haryana for their contribution in forming the BJP government at the Centre, Shah said: "In the last Lok Sabha elections, Haryana voters elected BJP MPs from all eight seats." Haryana has 10 parliamentary segments.
Party president electronically launched a handbill describing the achievements of the Modi government in the past one year. The publicity handout is published in 13 languages and eight dialects.