Lauds Goa on the completion of 100% first dose coverage for the adult population
Remembers services of Shri Manohar Parikkar on the occasion
Goa has shown the great results of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas: PM
I have seen many birthdays and have always been indifferent to that but, in all my years, yesterday was a day that made me deeply emotional as 2.5 crore people got vaccinated: PM
Yesterday witnessed more than 15 lakh doses administered every hour, more than 26 thousand doses every minute and more than 425 doses every second: PM
Every achievement of Goa that epitomises the concept of Ek Bharat -Shreshth Bharat fills me with great joy: PM
Goa is not just a state of the country but also a strong marker of Brand India: PM

The energetic and popular Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant ji, my colleague in the Union Cabinet and the son of Goa, Shripad Nayak ji, my colleague in the Council of Ministers in the Central Government, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar ji, all Goa ministers, MPs and MLAs, other public representatives, all Corona warriors, brothers and sisters!

Wishing you all a very Happy Shri Ganesh festival! Tomorrow, on the auspicious occasion of Anant Chaturdashi, we will bid farewell to Bappa and will also tie sacred thread Anant Sutra in our hands. Anant Sutra means happiness, prosperity in life and blessings of long life.

I am happy that the people of Goa have vaccinated themselves ahead of this holy day. Every eligible person in Goa has received one dose of the vaccine. This is a big deal in the fight against Corona. Many congratulations to all the people of Goa for this.

Friends,

Goa is also a state where the strength of India's diversity is visible. The culture, standard of life and food habits of the East and West are seen here. Ganeshotsav is also celebrated here, Deepawali is also celebrated with pomp and Goa glitters during Christmas. In doing so, Goa also follows its tradition. Every achievement of Goa which continuously strengthens the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ gives happiness and pride to the entire nation and not just me.

Brothers and sisters,

On this momentous occasion, the memory of my friend, true Karmayogi, late Manohar Parrikar ji is very natural. The way Goa has fought the biggest crisis in 100 years, Parrikar ji would have been very proud of your achievement if he was among us today.

Goa has been instrumental in the success of the world's largest and fastest vaccination campaign – Free Vaccine for All. In the last few months, Goa has faced natural calamities like heavy rains, cyclones, floods boldly under the leadership of Pramod Sawant ji. Many congratulations to all the corona warriors, health workers, Team Goa, everyone for maintaining the pace of corona vaccination amidst these natural challenges.

The experiences shared with us by many colleagues here show how difficult this campaign was. It takes a sense of duty, devotion to the society and courage to reach far and wide with safe vaccines by crossing the raging rivers. All of you are serving humanity tirelessly without stopping. Your service will always be remembered.

Friends,

The Government, citizens, Corona warriors and the front line workers of Goa have demonstrated that what a wonderful result Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas can ensue. The kind of coordination in dealing with social and geographical challenges is really commendable. Many congratulations to Pramod ji and your team. The faster vaccination in the farthest parts of the state, in all the sub-divisions, is a great proof.

I am glad that Goa has not allowed its pace to slacken. Even at this time when we are talking, ‘Tika’ festival is going on in the state for the second dose. It is with such sincere efforts that Goa is poised to become the leading state in the country in terms of complete immunization. Importantly, Goa is vaccinating not only its population but also the tourists and workers who are coming from outside.

Friends,

On this occasion, I would also like to appreciate all the doctors, medical staff and people associated with the administration of the country. Due to the efforts of all of you, yesterday India made a record of vaccinating more than 2.5 crore people in a single day. Even the countries considered to be rich and powerful have not been able to do this. Yesterday we saw how the country was glued to the CoWIN dashboard, brimming with excitement at the increasing numbers.

Yesterday every hour clocked more than 15 lakh vaccinations, more than 26,000 vaccinations every minute, and every second more than 425 people got the vaccines. This vaccine has been administered to people at more than one lakh vaccination centers spread in every part of the country. India's own vaccines, such a huge network for vaccination and skilled manpower exhibit the capability of India.

Friends,

Yesterday’s achievement is not just the statistics, but the world is going to recognize the capabilities that India has. And, therefore, its glorification is the duty of every Indian.

Friends,

Today I want to speak my mind also. Many birthdays have come and gone, but I have always stayed away from celebrations. But at this age, yesterday was very emotional for me. There are many ways to celebrate a birthday. People also celebrate in different ways. And I am not among those who find fault with celebrations. But yesterday has become a very special day for me because of your efforts.

The record vaccination yesterday by those in the medical field, who have been working day and night for the last one-and-a-half and two years, regardless of their lives, and helping the countrymen in fighting against Corona, is a big deal. Everyone has contributed a lot to this. People associated it with service. It is their compassion and duty that 2.5 crore vaccine doses could be administered.

I believe that every single dose of the vaccine helps save a life. It gives a lot of satisfaction to provide a security cover to more than 2.5 crore people in such a short span of time. Birthdays will come and go, but yesterday has touched my heart, it has become unforgettable. No amount of thanks is sufficient. I salute every countryman from my heart and express my gratitude to all.

Brothers and sisters,

India's vaccination campaign is not only a protective shield for health, but is also the shield for livelihood. Himachal has completed 100 percent vaccination in the case of first dose, so are Goa, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep where all eligible persons have got the first dose. Sikkim is also going to be 100% very soon as far as the first dose is concerned. Andaman and Nicobar, Kerala, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Dadra and Nagar Haveli are also not far away (from this achievement).

Friends,

Though it was not highlighted, India has given a lot of priority to the states associated with the tourism sector in its vaccination campaign. We did not say this in the beginning as it results in politicking. But it was very important that our tourism destinations open at the earliest. Now Char-Dham Yatra will be possible in Uttarakhand too. In the midst of all these efforts, 100% vaccination in Goa becomes very special.

Goa has an important role in reviving the tourism sector. If the people of the hotel industry, taxi drivers, hawkers, shopkeepers and everyone are vaccinated, the tourists will also come here with a sense of security. Now Goa has joined the very few international tourist destinations in the world where people have got the protective shield of the vaccine.

Friends,

We wish that there are tourist activities as before and tourists from all over the country and the world come and enjoy here in the next tourism season. This is possible only when we pay as much attention to the precautions related to corona as we are giving on vaccination. The infection has subsided but still we do not have to take this virus lightly. The more the focus is on safety and hygiene the more tourists will come here.

Friends,

Recently, the Central Government has also taken several steps to encourage foreign tourists. It has been decided to give free visas to 5 lakh tourists visiting India. Loan up to Rs 10 lakh is being given to the stakeholders related to travel and tourism with 100% government guarantee. Loans up to Rs 1 lakh have also been provided to registered tourist guides. The Central Government is also committed to take every step forward which will help in the rapid progress of the tourism sector of the country.

Friends,

In order to make Goa's tourism sector attractive, the infrastructure is getting the double power of a double engine government for the benefit of the farmers, fishermen and others. Unprecedented work is being done in Goa, especially on infrastructure related to connectivity. The greenfield airport being built in Mopa is going to be ready in the next few months. A six-lane modern highway is being built at a cost of about 12,000 crore rupees to connect this airport with the national highway. Thousands of crores of rupees have been invested in Goa in the last few years only in the construction of national highways.

It is also a matter of great pleasure that the 'Zuari Bridge', which will connect North Goa with South Goa, is also going to be inaugurated in the next few months. As you also know, this bridge connects Panaji with Margao. I am told that the Aguada Fort, a witness to the unique saga of the Goa Liberation War, will also be reopened to the public soon.

Brothers and sisters,

The legacy of Goa's development left by Manohar Parrikar ji is being carried forward by my friend Dr. Pramod ji and his team with full dedication. When the country is moving forward with a new resolve of self-reliance during the epoch of independence, Goa has also taken the pledge of Swayampurna Goa. I have been told that construction of more than 50 components in Goa has started under this resolution of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goa. This shows the seriousness of Goa in creating new employment opportunities for the youth and to achieve the national goals.

Friends,

Today Goa is not only a leader in Covid vaccination, but also among the leading states of the country in many parameters of development. The rural and urban areas of Goa are becoming completely open defecation free. Satisfactory work is also being done in Goa regarding basic amenities like electricity and water. Goa is the only state in the country where 100% electrification has been done. Goa has done wonders as far as tap water to every household is concerned. The effort of providing tap water to every household in rural Goa is commendable. Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the country has so far connected about 5 crore families with piped water facilities in the last two years. The way Goa has taken this campaign forward also makes explicit the priority of the Government of Goa towards 'Good Governance' and 'Ease of Living'.

Brothers and sisters,

The Goa government has demonstrated this commitment towards good governance even during the Corona period. Despite facing a myriad of challenges, the Goa team has extended all the assistance sent by the central government to every beneficiary without any discrimination. No stone was left unturned in helping every poor, farmer and fisherman. Free ration is being delivered to the poor families of Goa with utmost sincerity for months together. Many sisters of Goa have found succor in difficult times by getting free gas cylinders.

The farmers of Goa have received crores of rupees directly in their bank accounts from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. Even during the Corona period, small farmers here have got Kisan Credit Cards on mission mode. Moreover, a large number of farmers and fishermen of Goa have got the facility of Kisan Credit Card for the first time. Under the PM Svanidhi Yojana, street vendors are being given loans in Goa. All these efforts have helped the people of Goa a lot even during the floods.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa is a land of limitless possibilities. Goa is not just a state, but also a strong identity of Brand India. It is the responsibility of all of us to expand this role of Goa. Continuity is very necessary in the good work that is being done in Goa today. Goa is getting the benefits of political stability and good governance after a long time.

With the wish that the people in Goa will continue with the same vein, many congratulations to all of you again! Congratulations to Pramod ji and his entire team.

Thanks!

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!