Last 10 years will be known for the historic decisions of the government: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | February 7, 2024 | 14:01 IST
“Rashtrapati Ji's address emphasized India's burgeoning confidence, promising future and immense potential of its people”
“India has come out of the days of Fragile Five and Policy Paralysis to the days of being among the top 5 economies”
“Last 10 years will be known for the historic decisions of the government”
“Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is not a slogan. It is Modi's guarantee”
“Modi 3.0 will leave no stone unturned to strengthen the foundations of Viksit Bharat”

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I am here to participate in the discussion of the Hon’ble President's Address. I extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the Hon’ble President for her address.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

This 75th Republic Day is in itself a significant milestone. The address by the Hon’ble President at this crucial stage of the journey of the Constitution holds historical importance. In her address, she has spoken about Bharat’s self-confidence, expressed confidence in Bharat’s bright future, and presented the potential of millions of Indians to the nation through the Parliament in a very concise but magnificent manner. I express heartfelt gratitude for this inspiring address by the Hon’ble President and for providing direction to the nation, and for empowering Bharat’s resolution towards ‘Viksit Bharat’.

During the discussion, many Hon’ble members expressed their views and made efforts in their own ways to enrich the discussion. I express heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to all the esteemed colleagues who made efforts to enrich this discussion. Criticism by some colleagues, speaking harsh words, was their compulsion, and I also express my sympathies towards them.

I couldn't say it that day, but I express special thanks to (Mallikarjun) Kharge ji. I was listening very attentively to Kharge ji, and I was thrilled ... It's very rare. Sometimes you get this thrill in the Lok Sabha, but nowadays he is busy somewhere else, so there's not much entertainment. But the lack of entertainment we were feeling in the Lok Sabha, you compensated for it that day. And I was pleased that Hon’ble Kharge ji spoke for quite a long time and in a very calm manner. He also took a very long time. I was wondering how he got the freedom to speak so much. I was thinking about this, but later I noticed that the two special ‘commanders’ weren't present that day. They are not present nowadays. And therefore, Hon’ble Kharge ji took great advantage of freedom. And I think Kharge ji must have heard a film song that day, ‘Aisa Mauka Phir Kahan Milega’ (where else will you get such an opportunity). Now that Kharge ji is no longer an umpire and a commando, so he was enjoying hitting boundaries and sixes. But one thing was very pleasing. I respectfully accept the blessing that he gave to the NDA for 400 seats. Now if you want to take the blessing back, you can, because we have returned (to power).

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I vividly remember an incident from last year. We were sitting in that House (Lok Sabha) and there was a concerted effort to drown out the voice of the Prime Minister of the country. With great patience and humility, we listened to each and every one of your words. And even today, you have come prepared not to listen, but you cannot suppress my voice. The people of the country have empowered this voice. The voice is emanating from the blessings of the people of the country, and that's why this time I have also come fully prepared just like last time. I thought that perhaps someone like you who came to the House will abide by the norms, but you meted out great injustice to me for an hour and a half or so. And despite that I did not transgress any boundaries during my reply.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I have also made a prayer. One can pray, and I keep praying. The challenge that has come to you from West Bengal (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) that the Congress won't be able to cross 40 (seats in this year’s elections), I pray that you manage to save 40.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

You (Kharge ji) said a lot about us and we heard. You have the right to speak in a democracy, and it is our responsibility to listen to you. And whatever discussions that have taken place today, I should present them in front of the country, and therefore, I will make a genuine effort.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

When I heard this, heard it there (Lok Sabha) and here (Rajya Sabha) too, my belief has firmed up that the (Congress) party has become outdated not just in its thinking but in its functioning as well. And when the thought process becomes outdated, they (Congress members) have also outsourced their work. In no time, such a big party, a party that ruled the country for decades, is facing such a downfall, such a decline. We are not happy, we have sympathies towards you. But what will a doctor do, when the patient himself doesn't know (what he is suffering from). What more should I say?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

It's true that today they (Congress members) talk a lot, but they have lost the patience to listen. However, I will definitely present my views in front of the country. The Congress party, which had openly strangled democracy in its greed for power, the Congress which had repeatedly dismissed democratically elected governments dozens of times overnight, the Congress which had (imprisoned several leaders behind bars) in complete disdain of democracy, the Congress which even tried to lock newspapers, has now developed a new hobby of building narratives to break the country. Not satisfied with that, now statements are being made to divide north-south? And this Congress is giving us lectures on democracy and federalism?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The Congress party, which left no stone unturned in dividing the country in the name of caste and language, the Congress, which allowed terrorism and separatism to flourish for its own benefit, the Congress, which pushed the North-East into violence, separatism, and backwardness, the Congress party, which left the country facing a huge challenge of Naxalism during its rule, the Congress, which handed over large swathes of the country's land to enemies, the Congress, which prevented the modernization of the country's armed forces, is today lecturing us on national security and internal security? The Congress party, which has been confused since independence itself, spent its time in the same confusion whether industrialisation or farming is necessary, unable to decide whether to nationalize or privatize, remained confused. The Congress, which in its 10 years of rule brought the economy from 12th to 11th position, from 12th to 11th position in 10 years! And it doesn't take much effort to go from 12th to 11th as you progress. Through our efforts, we brought it to the 5th position in 10 years. And the Congress is giving us long lectures on economic policies here?"

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The Congress party, which did not provide complete reservation to the OBCs, which never provided reservation to the poor in the general category, which did not consider Baba Saheb (Ambedkar) worthy of the Bharat Ratna, and kept giving Bharat Ratna to their own family members. The Congress party, which has planted parks in the name of its own family members on the streets and squares of the country, is giving us advice? They are teaching us lessons on social justice?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The Congress party, which has no guarantee of its own leader, no guarantee of its policies, they are questioning Modi's guarantee?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

There was a complaint here, and they wonder why we say such things, why we see such things. Why did the country and the world perceive their 10-year tenure in such a way, why did the country become angry, why did so much anger develop in the country? Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, not everything has happened because of our words, the consequences of one's actions are now evident. They don't happen in another lifetime, they happen in this very life.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We do not speak ill of anyone, why should we? When people have said so much to them, what need is there for me to say anything to them? I want to present a kind of statement before the House. I am reading the first quote – Members know, this is a quotation. Members know it. “Our growth has slowed down and fiscal deficit has increased, inflation has been rising continuously for the past 2 years. The current account deficit has exceeded our expectations.” I have read this quote. This is not a quote from any BJP leader, neither this quote is mine.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The then Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh ji during his 10-year tenure in the UPA government said this. He described this situation.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Now I read the second quote. “There is widespread anger in the country over the misuse of public office”. How the institutions were misused then. I did not misuse the institutions at that time. This was said by the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ji. At that time, the whole country was protesting on the streets due to corruption, protests were going on in every corner. Now I will read the third quote - There are some lines of an amendment, listen to this too. “There is corruption in tax collection, and therefore, GST should be introduced. There is leakage in the ration scheme, which affects the poorest of the poor in the country the most. Measures need to be taken to stop this. There is doubt about the government contracts being given.” This was also said by the then Prime Minister Respected Manmohan Singh ji. And before him, another Prime Minister (of the Congress party) said that one rupee goes from Delhi, only 15 paise reaches (the beneficiaries). The problem was known to them, but there was no preparation to fix it. And today big statements are being made by them. Look at the 10-year history of the Congress. The country was called a Fragile Five Economy in the world then. It was not me, but the world was calling it Fragile Five. Policy paralysis had become their identity. And our 10 years will be remembered for being in the Top Five Economy. Our 10 years will be remembered for big and decisive decisions.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We have worked very hard to bring the country out of crises. This country is not blessing us for nothing.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The British were eulogised in this House. The kings and maharajas had a close relationship with the British at that time. So now, I want to ask, who was inspired by the British? I won't ask who gave birth to the Congress party; I won't ask that. Even after independence, who promoted the mentality of slavery in the country? If you were not influenced by the British, then why didn't you change the Penal Code put together by the British?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If you were not influenced by the British, then why did you continue with hundreds of laws from the British era? If you were not influenced by the British, then why did the culture of red beacons continue for decades? If you were not influenced by the British, then why did Bharat’s budget come at 5 o'clock in the evening, because the British Parliament started in the morning? Why did you maintain the tradition of presenting the budget at 5 o'clock in the evening, which was convenient for the British Parliament? Who was inspired by the British? If you were not inspired by the British, then why were symbols of slavery still present on our military insignia? We are removing them one by one. If you were not inspired by the British, then why did the country have to wait for Modi to transform Rajpath into the Kartavya Path?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If you were not influenced by the British, then why were symbols of British rule still present in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If you were not influenced by the British, then why couldn't you even build a War Memorial for the soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the country? Why was it not constructed? If you were not inspired by the British, why did you look down upon Indian languages? Why were you indifferent towards education in local languages?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If you were not inspired by the British, then who stopped you from calling Bharat the Mother of Democracy? Why didn't you realize? Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, I can provide hundreds of examples to show under whose influence you (the Congress) worked. And today the country is going to remember all these things after listening to it.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I want to give another example. The Congress spread narratives, and the result of that narrative was that people who respected Bharat’s culture and values began to be seen with great disdain, considered backward. And in this way, injustice towards our past has occurred. If you insult your beliefs, if you insult your good traditions, then you are considered progressive. Such narratives began to be built in the country. And the world knows well under whose leadership such narratives were spread. The glorification of importing from other countries and considering second class anything that was Indian … This status symbol was created. The products made in foreign countries were considered as a status symbol. These people still refrain from speaking up for Vocal for Local where the work for the welfare of the poor of my country happens. Today, they don’t talk about ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). When someone advocates for Make in India today, they get uncomfortable.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The country has seen all this and now understands, and you are also suffering the consequences of that.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In her speech, the Hon’ble President addressed in detail about four major categories: youth, women, the poor, and our farmers. We know that their issues are mostly similar, their dreams are also similar, and if we want to find solutions, there might be a slight difference, but the path to solutions for these four categories is the same. Therefore, she has aptly guided the nation to strengthen these four pillars so that the country will move forward to become ‘Viksit Bharat’ at a rapid pace.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If we are in the 21st century and want to fulfil the dreams of ‘Viksit Bharat’ by 2047 in this century, then the mindset of the 20th century cannot prevail. The selfish agenda of the 20th century, the game of "me and mine," cannot make Bharat prosperous and developed in the 21st century. These days, the Congress is discussing a lot about caste once again. I don't know why they felt the need for it. However, if they feel the need, they should first introspect and they will know what they have done. The Congress has always been the biggest opponent of Dalits, backward classes, and tribal communities. And sometimes I wonder if there would have been reservation for SC/ST if Babasaheb Ambedkar had not been there. This question also comes up in my mind.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I have evidence behind what I'm saying. Their mindset has not changed since then; I have evidence of that. I'm not here just to speak without evidence, Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir. And when such issues have been raised from there (the Congress), they should be prepared. And they have known me very well for the last 10 years. Of late, I remember (Jawaharlal) Nehru ji more often these days because our friends (in the Congress) expect me to speak about him (Nehru ji). Now, let me read out a letter written by Nehru ji. This letter was written by the country’s Prime Minister Pandit Nehru to the chief ministers of the country at that time. It's on record. I'm reading the translation: "I do not like any kinds of reservations, especially reservations in jobs. I am against any step that promotes inefficiency and that leads towards the second class." This is the letter written by Pandit Nehru ji to the chief ministers. And therefore, I say they are always opposed to reservations. Nehru ji used to say, if SC, ST and OBC communities get reservation in jobs, the standard of government work will deteriorate. And today, those who rattle the figures, the root of those is here. Because at that time, they stopped it (reservation), they said don't recruit. If their (SC, ST and OBC communities) recruitment had happened in the government at that time, and they had been promoted, they would have reached here today.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I'm reading this quote, you can verify. I'm reading a quote by Pandit Nehru.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

You know, what Nehru ji said is always a milestone for the Congress. Nehru ji's saying means a milestone for them. You can pretend to say anything, but your thoughts are evident from many examples. I can give you countless examples, but I want to give one example for sure, and I want to give the example of Jammu and Kashmir. The Congress kept the SC, ST, OBC communities of Jammu and Kashmir deprived of their rights for seven decades. Article 370 … I am not talking about how many seats we will win now. Article 370 was abolished, and only then, after so many decades, did SC, ST, OBC communities get the rights that the people of the country had been getting for years. The Forest Rights Act was not available to them in Jammu and Kashmir. The Prevention of Atrocities Act was not there in Jammu and Kashmir; we gave them these rights by removing Article 370. Even in our SC community, if anyone was left behind, it was our Valmiki society. Even after seven decades, our Valmiki families in Jammu and Kashmir, who were serving the people, were not given the right to domicile. And today I also want to make the country aware that the Bill for OBC reservation in Local Self-Governments in local bodies was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday, on February 6th.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The increasing participation of the SC, ST and OBC communities has always been a major concern for the Congress and its allies. They left no stone unturned to eliminate Baba Saheb's politics and thoughts. The statements are available; what was said during the elections is also available. They weren't even prepared to give Bharat Ratna to him. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna only with the support of the BJP and when the (V.P.Singh) government was formed. Not only that, Sitaram Kesri, belonging to the extremely backward caste and who was the president of the Congress party, was thrown out on the footpath. (Because he was) OBC! The video is available; the country saw what happened with Sitaram Kesri.

And Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

One of their influential figures is sitting in America, who became famous for ‘Hua to Hua’ comment during the last elections. And the Congress is closely associated with this family. He has recently made significant efforts to diminish the contributions of the architect of the Constitution, Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

And Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

For the first time in the country, the NDA proposed an Adivasi daughter as a candidate for the post of President. One can understand if you had ideological opposition to us. I could have understood if you had put forth your own candidate if you had ideological opposition with us. But there was no ideological opposition. Why? Because the person you selected as a candidate (Yashwant Sinha) came from our ranks. Therefore, there was no ideological opposition; your opposition was for an Adivasi daughter. That's why when (P. A.)Sangma ji was contesting the election for the post of President, he was also an Adivasi from the Northeast. He was also meted the same treatment. And to this day Mr Chairman Sir, incidents of disrespect towards the Hon’ble President are not uncommon. It happened for the first time in this country. Such words have been spoken by responsible people (from the Congress) that would make one bow their head in shame. The language used for the President … The unease felt in the heart always finds a way to manifest itself. We have had the opportunity to work for 10 years in the NDA. We first made Dalit (Ram Nath Kovind) and now Adivasi (Droupadi Murmu) as President. We have always prioritized Dalits and Adivasis.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

When I talk about the performance of our government, I talk about the policies of the NDA that focus on the welfare of the poor. If you understand that society up close, who are the beneficiaries ultimately, who are these people? Who are these people living in slums, struggling for life? Which society do they belong to? They have to endure hardships, they have been deprived of facilities, which society is it? Whatever work we have done, it is for this society - the SCs, STs, OBCs, Adivasis. Providing proper homes to those living in slums has benefited my friends from this society. Previously, they struggled with diseases due to lack of cleanliness, now they have benefited from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan under our initiatives, so that they can have a better life. Our mothers and sisters in these families were enduring health crises by cooking food over smoke, we gave them Ujjwala gas connections and they are from these very families. Whether it is free ration, or free healthcare, the beneficiaries are these very families. All our schemes are meant for these family members from this section of society.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The narrative being presented here, denying facts in this manner, who will benefit from it? By doing so, you are not only losing your credibility but also your integrity.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Here, misleading statistics related to education have also been presented. What kind of effort is being made to mislead? Over the past 10 years, the scholarships provided to SC and ST students have increased. In these 10 years, the enrolment numbers in schools and higher education have also significantly increased, and the dropout rate has decreased rapidly.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Ten years ago, there were 120 Eklavya Model Schools. Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, today there are 400 Eklavya Model Schools. Why do you deny these facts? Why do you do this? I don't understand this.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Earlier, there was one Central Tribal University, today there are two Central Tribal Universities. It is also true, Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, that for a long time, Dalit, backward, and tribal sons and daughters could not even see the doors of colleges. I remember when I became the Chief Minister in Gujarat, I was presented with a surprising analysis. Umargam to Ambaji is an entire belt of tribal majority areas in Gujarat. Our Digvijay Singh's son-in-law is also from that area. In that entire area, there was not a single school offering science stream. When I went there, I thought if there is no school for my tribal children in that area offering the science stream, then where would the question of engineering or medical studies arise? Such basic necessities... and what speeches are being given here?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I want to inform the House and the members should take pride in it. You are sitting in the House, where a government is talking to you about such changes where there has been a significant transformation. Boost the confidence of that society, boost their morale. Let them progress rapidly into the mainstream of the country, let us strive for that, make collective efforts. Look at the enrolment of our tribal, SC, ST students; I want to present some figures. The enrolment of SC students in higher education has increased by 44%. The enrolment of ST students in higher education has increased by 65%. There has been a 45% increase in the enrolment of OBC students in higher education. And when the children of my poor, Dalit, backward, tribal, marginalized families go into higher education, become doctors and engineers, it will create a new environment within that society. Our effort is in that direction... Our effort is to solve the fundamental problems, even though it may take some time, but it should be done in a formidable manner. Therefore, we have put emphasis on education in this manner. If there is a lack of information, please let us know, we will provide you with the information. But do not create such narratives that diminish your dignity, weaken the power of your words. Sometimes, I feel sorry for you.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’! This is not just a slogan; it is Modi's guarantee. And when so much work is being done… Someone sent me a poem. The poem is quite long, but it contains a line:

मोदी की गारंटी का दौर है,

नए भारत की भोर

Out of warranty चल रही दुकानें,

Out of warranty चल रही दुकानें

खोजें अपनी ठोर

(It's the era of Modi's guarantee,

The dawn of New Bharat,

Shops are running out of warranty,

Shops are running out of warranty,

Search for your strength.)

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The attempts to spread despair in the country are understandable for those who have already sunk into the abyss of hopelessness. However, their capability to spread despair is also dwindling. They cannot generate hope. Those immersed in despair themselves cannot offer hope. Those who are spreading despair everywhere across the country, playing this game of spreading despair while denying the truth, will never be able to do any good to themselves or the country.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Every time the same song is sung. Statements are made without considering the facts just only to provoke certain sections of society. I want to present some realities before the country, and I believe the media should debate on such issues so that the truth can be revealed.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Here, various allegations were made against us regarding the government companies. What kinds of allegations are being made? There is no basis to such allegations. Now, let's remember the game that was played with Maruti shares. It used to hog headlines during that time. What was happening with Maruti shares? I don't want to delve into the depths of it, or else they might drown in it and there might be a short circuit here. So, I don't want to delve deep into it.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

It is necessary for the country to know the truth.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I was born in independent Bharat. My thoughts are also independent, and my dreams are free too. Those who live with a slave mentality have nothing else but old papers to cling to.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The Congress said that we sold PSUs, we ruined PSUs, such kinds of discussions take place here, and I was hearing it from senior people. Remember who destroyed BSNL, MTNL? Which era was it when BSNL, MTNL were ruined? Recall the plight of HAL, how was it destroyed? And then they set the agenda for the 2019 elections by giving speeches at HAL's gate. Those who destroyed HAL were giving speeches at HAL's gate.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Who destroyed Air India? Who brought Air India to such a mess? The Congress party and the UPA cannot turn away from its destruction. The country knows it well. Now, let me share some achievements from our tenure.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

BSNL, which was struggling in the past due to you, has made significant progress in recent years. Today BSNL is moving towards Made in India 4G and 5G and is drawing the attention of the world.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

There were so many myths spread about HAL. Today there is record manufacturing by HAL. HAL is generating record revenue. So many allegations were levelled against HAL and today HAL has become Asia's largest helicopter manufacturing company in Karnataka. Where did you leave it and where we have taken it to?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

A commando, who is not here, would also give highly knowledgeable statements about LIC. This is what has happened to LIC, etc. etc. As much wrong things could be said about LIC, they said. And the method is the same to destroy something – spread rumours, spread lies, spread confusion. The same technique is used when someone desires a big mansion in the village but can't acquire it; then they spread rumours that it's a haunted house. They create such an atmosphere that no one is willing to buy it. When no one shows interest, they eventually grab it. What was done with LIC?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

I want to say this with pride, with my head held high. Today, LIC shares are trading at record levels. Why is that?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Now the propaganda is being spread that PSUs have been shut down, PSUs have been shut down. Now they probably don't even know what the truth is. Somebody just instigated them. In 2014, there were 234 PSUs in the country, in the 10-year era of the UPA. When they were voted out in 2014, this figure was 234. Today there are 254 PSUs. Now, which arithmetic do they know? They say we have sold out PSUs. If we have sold out PSUs, then how come there are 254 PSUs now? What are you all doing?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Today, most PSUs are providing record returns, and investors' confidence in PSUs is increasing. Even those who know a little about the stock market understand this. If you don't understand, ask someone. Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, during the past year, there has been nearly a two-fold jump in the BSE PSU Index.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Ten years ago, i.e., 2014. I am talking about the period between 2004 and 2014. The net profit of PSUs was approximately one and a quarter lakh crore rupees. And in these ten years, the net profit of PSUs has increased to two and a half lakh crore rupees. In the past decade, the net worth of PSUs has increased from 9.5 lakh crore rupees to 17 lakh crore rupees.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Wherever they intervene, it is destined to sink. They had created such a state of affairs. We have worked hard and brought the PSUs out of that situation. You should be happy, do not spread illusions and do not spread such rumours in the market that confuse the ordinary investors of the country. You cannot do such a thing.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Their limit is such that now they have turned their prince into a start-up. Right now, he is a non-starter. He is neither taking off nor launching.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If you (the Congress members) had stayed this calm last time as well, it would have been so much fun.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations to everyone!

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

It has been my privilege to serve the country and the people as the Chief Minister of a state for a long time. Therefore, I understand regional aspirations very well because I emerged from that process myself. Leaders like Digvijay ji, who is sitting here, naturally understands what it means for a state because we come from the same world. We have the experience, we know. Sharad Pawar ji knows, and people like Deve Gowda Sahab understand all these things. So, we understand the importance of it. We don't have to read about it in books; we have experienced it firsthand. And this is also the truth for everyone. For about ten years, the entire machinery of the UPA government was focused on doing something or the other for Gujarat. You can't imagine. But I don't shed tears; it's not my habit to cry. But even then, despite facing numerous crises, despite enduring all kinds of atrocities, my problem was such that I couldn't even get an appointment with a minister here. They would say, "Brother, you know, I'm friends with you, I'll talk to you on the phone, but if there is a photograph of us (in any newspaper)…” They were so scared. Ministers were scared here. Well, anyway, I can understand their difficulties now. Once, a major natural disaster struck in my state. I made so many requests to the Prime Minister to come and see it for himself. His schedule was arranged. There was an advisory committee then, maybe the order came from there that someone should conduct an aerial inspection by helicopter. I could understand that. Suddenly, he changed the program and went to some other state in the south. I don't remember which one today. I was told "We will see from the airplane, we will not come to Gujarat." I was in Surat, he was about to come. I know what must have happened in the end. So, you can imagine, I have faced such difficulties even during natural disasters. But despite that, my mantra then and even today is that the development of the state is crucial for the development of the country. The development of Gujarat is essential for the development of Bharat. And we all should follow this path. We will only be able to achieve the nation's development through the development of states. There can be no dispute about this, no dispute at all. And I assure you, Mr Chairman Sir, that if a state takes one step, I am ready to take two steps forward. What is cooperative federalism? And I have always advocated about Competitive Cooperative federalism. Today the country needs Competitive Cooperative federalism. There should be healthy competition among our states so that our country can progress rapidly. We need to move forward with a positive mindset. And even when I was in the state, I worked with these same principles. That's why I silently endured.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

COVID is an example. It was the world’s biggest crisis. During such a crisis, we held 20 meetings with the Chief Ministers of the states. We discussed every aspect, took everyone along, formed a team, and both the Centre and the states worked together. The world which could not tackle the crisis … Together, we did everything possible to save this country. I will never credit just one person... Together, we did everything possible to save this country. States also have the full right to take credit for it. And we worked in this spirit.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We could have organized the G-20 summit in Delhi. By staying among these prominent leaders in Delhi, we could have achieved everything. This has happened before. But we did not do that. We wanted all the states to take credit for the success of the G-20. We held one meeting in Delhi... and 200 meetings in the states... giving each state exposure on the world stage. This was not a mistake; it was planned. For me, it's not about whose government it is. I don't run the country based on that. We all want to move the country forward together, and that's the role we've played.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

When foreign leaders used to come to our country … It is not that they are coming here after I became Prime Minister. They used to come earlier. And if foreign leaders come today, then I urge them to visit a state at least for a day. I take them to the states so that they understand that my country is not just Delhi. My country is also in Chennai. My country is also in Bengaluru. My country is also in Hyderabad. My country is also in Puri, Bhubaneswar. My country is also in Kolkata. My country is also in Guwahati. We are making efforts to ensure that the entire world gets the exposure of every corner of my country. We do not judge the support or opposition of the state government on this scale. With honesty and for the future of this country, we try to make the whole world aware of Bharat. Even after such a big event (Republic Day) on January 26, everyone knows, yet on the 25th, I was roaming the streets of Rajasthan with the President of France, letting the world know about Rajasthan.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We have undertaken a very major program that is being discussed globally as a model - aspirational districts. The success of aspirational districts is largely attributed to the support of my states, accounting for 80 per cent. The support provided by the states indicates their understanding of my vision for aspirational districts. Today, I am receiving 80 per cent support from the states to further advance the aspirational districts program. I am getting the support from the district-level officers. And states that were lagging behind the national average are now competing with it, districts that were once considered backward are now competing with the national average. All of this is possible with cooperation. Therefore, the structure of our programs is to move forward together and work together to build the future of the country. Today, every corner of the country, every family should reap the benefits of development; this is our collective responsibility, and we want to move in that direction. We also want to ensure that every state receives its due share. However, today I want to express my anguish on an important issue.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

A nation is not just a piece of land for us. It is a unit that inspires. Just as a body has various limbs and organs, if a thorn pricks the foot, the foot doesn't say, "Why me?" The hand doesn't think “Why should I bother, the thorn has pricked the foot. The foot will do its job.” In a moment, the hand reaches the foot and removes the thorn. When a thorn pricks the foot, the eye doesn't say, "Why should I cry?" Tears flow from the eye. If there is pain in any corner of Bharat, everyone should feel the pain. If one part of the body is not functioning well, the entire body is considered disabled. Just as a body, if any part of the country, any region of the country, remains deprived of development, the nation cannot progress. Therefore, we should view Bharat as an integrated unit. We should not see it in fragments. The way language is being spoken these days, new narratives are being created to divide the country for political selfishness. An entire government has hit the streets and is engaging in divisive language. What could be a bigger misfortune for the country, you tell me?

If a tribal child from Jharkhand goes to the Olympics and wins a medal, do we think, "This is a child of Jharkhand," or does the whole country say, "This is a child of our nation"? When we see talent in a child from Jharkhand and the country spends thousands or lakhs of rupees to send him to another country for better coaching, then should we think that this expenditure is for Jharkhand, or is it not for the entire country? What are we doing, what language are we beginning to speak? This affects the pride of the nation. When it comes to vaccines, crores of people are given vaccines. Will we say that the vaccine was developed in that particular place, therefore it is their right, not the country's. Can we think like that? If the vaccine was developed in that city, will other parts of the country not benefit from it? Will we think like that? Is this the kind of thinking we are adopting? It is very unfortunate if such thoughts develop in a national party.

I want to ask Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

If the Himalayas were to start saying, “These rivers flow from here. I won’t give you water. The right to water is mine," what would happen to the country? Where would the country go? If the states with coal were to say, "You won't get coal, this is our property, go spend your life in darkness," how would the country function?

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

During the COVID times, when the entire country needed oxygen, the possibilities of oxygen were in the industries of the eastern region. If, at that time, the people from the east had simply said, "We cannot provide oxygen, our people need it, the country will get nothing," what would have happened to the country? Despite enduring the crisis, they ensured that oxygen reached the country. What kind of effort is being made to fragment these sentiments within the country? Speaking in such a manner about “our taxes, our money” could pose a new threat to the country's future. Let's stop searching for new narratives to divide the country. The country has to move ahead. Let's strive to move the country forward together.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Over the past 10 years, the policies and programs have been aimed at showcasing the new direction of New Bharat. The direction we have embraced, the construction work we have undertaken, our entire focus over the past decade has remained on ensuring that basic amenities are provided.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Every family's standard of living should improve, and their Ease of Living should increase. Now the demand of the time is - how can we enhance the Quality of Life for them? In the coming days, we want to move forward from Ease of Living to Quality of Life with all our strength and capability. We are committed to advancing in that direction and we will ensure that.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next 5 years, we are making concerted efforts to reach out to the Neo Middle Class, who have emerged from poverty, and to empower them to new heights. Therefore, we are further strengthening the ‘Modi Shield’ of social justice and providing more support to it.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

These days, when we say that 25 crore people have emerged from poverty, a fallacious argument is presented that if 25 crore people have come out of poverty, then why are we providing food and grains to 80 crore people.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We know that even if a sick person is discharged from the hospital, the doctor advises him to take certain precautions, to be careful with their diet, to rest, and to avoid certain activities, so that he does not end up in trouble again. Similarly, those who have emerged from poverty need to be taken care of more so that they don't slip back into poverty again if any crisis befalls them. That's why they need to be strengthened. At this time, we have made the poor stronger so that the Neo Middle Class does not fall back into that hell again. We provide Ayushman Bharat health insurance of 5 lakh rupees, and this has a purpose behind it. If an illness strikes a middle-class person's family, it doesn't take long for them to become poor. That's why it's as important to come out of poverty as it is to ensure that one doesn't accidentally slip back into poverty. That's why we provide grains, and we will continue to provide them. Whether someone likes it or not, 25 crore people have come out of poverty. They have become part of the Neo Middle Class. But I understand, I have lived in that world. They need it more, and that's why our scheme will continue.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The country knows, and that's why I have guaranteed that the facility for treatment up to 5 lakh rupees for the poor will continue to be available in the future. This is my guarantee, Modi's guarantee. The medicines available at an 80% discount, which benefit the middle class and the poor, will continue to be available.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

This is Modi’s guarantee that the Samman Nidhi being provided to farmers will continue, so that they can actively participate in the journey of development with strength.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

My campaign is to provide permanent homes to the poor. If a family grows, a new family is formed, my program to provide permanent homes will continue. The piped water scheme, it's my firm commitment, and my guarantee is that we will continue to provide water through pipelines. If there is a need to build new toilets, then I guarantee that we will continue to do so. These works will progress rapidly because we do not want to slow down the path of development, the direction of development that we have taken, under any circumstances.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The third term of our government is not far away. Some people call it Modi 3.0. Modi 3.0 will exert full force to strengthen the foundation of a ‘Viksit Bharat’.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next five years, the number of doctors in Bharat will increase manifold compared to before. The number of medical colleges will also increase. Treatment in this country will become much cheaper and more accessible.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next five years, every poor household will have a tap water connection.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the coming five years, every eligible beneficiary will receive a PM Awas (housing) unit, ensuring that no one is left behind. Additionally, over the next five years, solar power will be utilized to bring down electricity bills to zero for millions of citizens. Through proper planning, individuals will have the opportunity to generate income by producing electricity at home and selling it. This is part of our program for the next five years.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Over the next five years, there will be a concerted effort to establish a comprehensive network for piped gas connections throughout the country.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the coming five years, the world will witness the power of our youth. You will see Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, our start-ups and the unicorns by the youth will number in the millions. And not only that, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities are going to emerge with a new identity through these new start-ups. This is the vision of the next five years that I can see.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

You will see the impact of reserve funding on its growth. In the next five years, I foresee when the number of patents will break previous records, surpassing the patents filed in the past seven decades.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Today, lakhs of middle-class children from my country go abroad for their education. I want to create a situation where my children can save lakhs of rupees. Dreams of the middle class in my country should come true. The best universities should be in my country. The highest education should be available to them in my country, and that's why I'm saying this so that my children and their families can save money.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the coming five years, you will see no international sports competition where the flag of Bharat is not flying high. I foresee the recognition of the power of the youth of Bharat in the world of sports over the next five years.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next five years, Bharat’s public transport is going to undergo a complete transformation. Over the next five years, the facilities for affordable and luxurious travel will be readily available to both the poor and the middle class. These facilities will be easily and rapidly accessible. In the coming five years, the country will witness the introduction of bullet trains, as well as the expansion of the Vande Bharat Express trains.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next five years, the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) campaign will reach new heights. The country will be seen as self-reliant in every sector.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the coming 5 years, "Made in India" semiconductor technology will resonate worldwide. Every electronic device will contain a chip where some Indian's sweat will be involved.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

In the next five years, the country will witness a new momentum in the global electronics market.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Today, our country imports billions of rupees worth of oil. In the direction of becoming more self-reliant for our energy needs, we will work tirelessly, and I believe we will succeed in reducing the dependency on energy requirements. Not only that, Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, we are moving forward to entice the world market with the Green Hydrogen campaign. Our Green Hydrogen will have the capability to fulfil energy needs. We are progressing rapidly in the world of ethanol. By achieving a 20 per cent target, we will ensure cheaper transportation for our people.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

When I talk about 20 per cent ethanol, its direct benefit will happen to the farmers of my country, who are going to witness a new progress. We call ourselves an agriculture-oriented nation, but even today, we have to import billions of rupees worth of cooking oil from outside. I have faith in our farmers, and I firmly believe that with the policies we are implementing in the field of edible oil, my country will become self-reliant very soon, within 5 years. And the money saved will go into the pockets of the farmers of my country, which currently goes into foreign markets.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Due to chemical farming, our Mother Earth is suffering a lot of damage. In the coming five years, we will successfully lead the farmers of our country towards natural farming. It will be a work of awakening, ensuring the protection of our Mother Earth.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The growth of natural farming will also increase the value of our products in the global market.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Through the UN, I launched a campaign for millets. We have given recognition to it in the form of ‘Shree Anna’. I can see the day not far away when in the coming five years, millets grown in the small homes of my village will gain recognition in the world market as a superfood.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Drones are going to emerge as a new tool of power for farmers in fields. We have already launched the program of "15 Thousand Drone Didi Initiative". This is just the beginning; much success lies ahead.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We have been successful in implementing nanotechnology in agriculture so far. We have achieved great success with Nano urea. We have succeeded in the direction of Nano DAP. And today, the day is not far when a farmer carrying a sack of fertilizer will be able to work with just a bottle of fertilizer.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

We have established a new ministry in the cooperative sector. The aim behind it is to revitalize the entire cooperative movement with new vigour and it emerges according to the needs of the 21st century. We are also undertaking the task of setting up two lakh storage facilities, which will be completed within five years. This will provide small farmers with a place to store their produce. The farmer will decide at what price to sell or not to sell his produce in the market. The fear of wastage of his produce will be eliminated, and the economic strength of the farmer will increase. I confidently say that animal husbandry and fish farming are going to set new records. Currently, we have a good number of animals here, but milk production is low. We will change this trend. I also believe that we will rapidly develop in the world of fishing exports. We have started the program of forming Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs), and the experience has been very good. Within five years, the power of a new organization of farmers and the value in agricultural production will definitely be available to the farmers of my country.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

The success of the G-20 has made it clear. After COVID, we have seen the openness in the world, and the biggest benefit of this openness is that the world's attention has turned towards Bharat. Therefore, a very large sector of tourism is going to flourish in the coming days, which will provide the most employment. Today, there are many countries in the world whose entire economy depends on tourism. In Bharat too, many states can become such where the largest part of the economy will be tourism. And the day is not far when Bharat will become a very big tourist destination with the policies we are pursuing.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

It was not considered much before and people used to mock us when I talked about Digital India or FinTech. It seemed absurd to people and they thought I was talking ‘out of work’. However, I can confidently say Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, that in the coming five years, Bharat will dominate in the world of the digital economy. Bharat is going to become a new force. Today, digital systems are enhancing the capabilities of Bharat. The world believes that if any country has the capability to utilize AI the most, it will be Bharat. My country will utilize the latest technology to its fullest potential.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

Our country’s name is shining in the world of space. The achievements of our scientists are becoming evident. As for the program for the coming five years, I do not wish to express it in words today. I firmly believe that our scientists will lead Bharat to astonish the world in the direction of space exploration.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

There is a significant change happening in the grassroots level economy. Our 10 crore mothers and sisters are joining the self-help groups and three crore of our ‘Lakhpati Didis’! They are writing the saga of excellence of our daughters in their own right.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

There are many diverse areas where I see clear progress in the coming five years where Bharat used to be unheard of in such areas. There was a golden age, and I envision the day, not far from now, when over the next five years, we will establish a strong foundation, and by the time we reach 2047, this country will relive that golden age. With this belief, Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir, ‘Viksit Bharat’ is not just a play of words. It is our commitment, and for this, we are dedicated. Every breath of ours is committed for that work, every moment of ours is committed for that work and our every thought is dedicated to that work. With that same sentiment, we are marching forward, will continue to march, and the country will keep advancing. I assure you of that. The centuries to come will mark this golden era in history. This belief resonates within me because I understand the mood of the people of the country very well. The nation has witnessed the experience of change in the past 10 years. The rapid pace of change seen will bring about new heights, new strengths in every aspect of life. Achieving every resolution is part of our work ethic.

Hon’ble Mr Chairman Sir,

All of you presented your views in this House, and I have had the opportunity to speak the truth before the nation amidst the sanctity of this House. I believe that the nation cannot listen to those whose warranty has expired. Believing in the ideas of those whose strength of guarantee has been seen, the nation will move forward.

I once again express my heartfelt gratitude to the Hon’ble Chairman Sir, and extend my respectful greetings and thanks to the Hon’ble President for her address. With this, I conclude my remarks. Thank you very much.

 

Explore More
77வது சுதந்திர தினத்தை முன்னிட்டு செங்கோட்டை கொத்தளத்தலிருந்து பிரதமர் திரு நரேந்திர மோடி நிகழ்த்திய உரையின் தமிழாக்கம்

பிரபலமான பேச்சுகள்

77வது சுதந்திர தினத்தை முன்னிட்டு செங்கோட்டை கொத்தளத்தலிருந்து பிரதமர் திரு நரேந்திர மோடி நிகழ்த்திய உரையின் தமிழாக்கம்
PM Modi's Kolkata Roadshow Touches 3 Destinations Linked To Iconic Figures

Media Coverage

PM Modi's Kolkata Roadshow Touches 3 Destinations Linked To Iconic Figures
NM on the go

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
PM Modi's Interview to Open Magazine
May 29, 2024

The Indian economy is seen to be in a sweet spot. There are positive signals from most of the sectors. The Indian stand­point on issues confronting the world is being appreciated. Many countries see India as having the required heft to provide solutions to global problems. In this backdrop, how important are the outcome of this election and the shape of the new government?

It is basic nature for anyone—be it an individual or a country—to support and look forward to stability. If we are not stable, if we are unable to take steps that help us realise our potential, then it is obvious that we will not encourage a favourable outcome towards ourselves.

Over the last decade, our decisions, our proactive approach and our future-ready form of governance have helped us in tapping the true potential of the Indian economy.

Our growth, aided by a series of different initiatives, has been so remarkable that enterprises and nations across the world have been looking forward to having a part to play in our progress story.

Our vision for a Viksit Bharat is not an inward-looking vision—it is a vision of greater collaborations, stronger partner­ships, and global growth. I think there is a strong appreciation of this vision across the world.

Take our global outreach, for example, be it G20 where we insisted on digital infrastructure as a public good in the Delhi Declaration, the International Solar Alliance, the International Biofuel Alliance, the I2U2, or the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure—are these not aimed at global good? The world is looking to India for answers.

Today, we are working to play a proactive role when it comes to forging deeper partnerships or resolving conflicts.

This makes the result of these elections very important because what the world looks forward to is continuity, it is consistency and it is stability—the three pillars of a decisive mandate by the people.

The election mandate is also very important because for 10 years we have done a lot of heavy-lifting, filled potholes from the past and empowered people with basic necessities. Now is the time for a quantum jump in aspirations and achievements. It is important that the path of growth is maintained at such an important time. People realise this and have decided to give us a huge mandate to accelerate progress.

Leftist slogans and prescriptions were seen to be respon­sible for pulling India back in the Congress years. These had little traction among policymakers in the recent past. But suddenly we see parties like Congress once again aggres­sively embracing those ideas. How will you counter this?

Congress, which has ruled the nation for several decades, has no real ideology except ‘Family First’—so they had to rely on ide­ologies that are alien to our land to continue their politics. Due to this, they had retrograde slogans and outdated programmes for everything.

Due to lack of a holistic national vision, their policies, their slogans could not achieve much. During Indiraji’s time, Congress turned into an outright leftist machinery. For every problem the nation faced, they gave a slogan. But the slogan could not solve any issue. They gave the slogan ‘Garibi Hatao’, but the nation ended up with the highest rate of inflation it has witnessed and a low rate of per capita income growth. By the end of the 1980s, Congress’ policies had led India to a massive balance of payment crisis that threatened the economy. Then again in 2004, Congress returned to power with the Left’s support. There again, outdated ideologies prevailed over commonsense and good governance.

Today, there is a declining trend of the Left in the country. Major citadels of Left politics have fallen. But there is one citadel of the Left that has only got stronger, which is within the Congress party. We saw how one of the closest advisors of Shehzaada was batting for a 55 per cent inheritance tax. In Congress’ manifesto, they have laid down their plans for wealth redistribution. She­hzaada has said that he would do an X-ray of the personal wealth of people. We have also seen how Manmohan Singh had declared that Muslims had the first right to national resources. What do all of these things point towards—that Congress has not changed with the times and remains outdated.

Their behaviour and promises are based on the premise that they are not coming to power. They have done no calculation behind the viability of their promises and what it would do to our economy. Their constant targeting of wealth-creators shows that progress and prosperity of the country do not matter to them.

As for countering this, the people of India are doing so. They have decided to punish Congress very severely and this will reflect in the results.

Why is the “Khan Market Gang”—you referred to them in a recent address in Kolkata—constantly attacking you and your government? They contend that the spirit of democracy is on the wane in India.

The loss of power and influence, and that too when one has wield­ed them for decades, can be lethal. For 60 years, a small coterie of people dominated all spheres of governance and politics. These people spoke the same language, had the same cultural biases, thought the same way, and were totally disconnected from the rest of India. This coterie was powerful because of their surnames and not any real hard work. Sadly, for them, India has changed in the last decade and that is why they may be angry.

And in their anger they come up with new narratives year after year to prove their point.

As for democracy, let me tell you, democracy has been a part of our land for centuries. It is in our temperament to be democratic. The only time democracy was under threat was during Emer­gency and we all know which party imposed it. By the way, this is the same party which got the first amendment to curtail free speech. This is also the same party which wanted to snatch press freedom. I can go on and on about their anti-democratic nature, but I do want to say that democracy will always be vibrant in our nation, whatever narratives they want to peddle.

Why is a section of opinion-makers lenient towards one set of politicians even when they are caught in cases of corruption? I am referring to the play that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is on parole, is getting in the media and elsewhere. Has corruption in high places ceased to be an issue?

It is quite shocking that individuals identified by the court as being involved in corruption are receiving extensive media cov­erage without being cross-examined. When they make state­ments, these are accepted as truth and presented as such by the media. This person, who is out on bail for a few days, has been further exposed upon his release. The common people are observing, understand­ing, and realising this.

Corruption is indeed a criti­cal issue. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was originally founded on the plank of opposing Con­gress’ corruption, and today, it is sitting with them while criticis­ing the Directorate of Enforce­ment (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). If the agen­cies had wrongfully accused him, why did he not receive relief from the court?

Furthermore, the opposition, which has accused ED and other agencies, has yet to prove in a sin­gle case that the allegations are unfounded. Every raid conduct­ed by ED and CBI has revealed piles of cash, and people are wit­nessing this. For us, corruption is a very serious issue because it directly impacts people’s lives. It is impossible to say that corruption is not an issue. I have now added another aspect to this mantra: Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga. I have now added: Jisne Khaya Hai Woh Nikalunga, Aur Jiska Khaya Hai Usko Khilaunga. I will ensure that funds are recovered from the corrupt and returned to their right­ful owners.

We have already demonstrat­ed our track record in this regard. ₹17,000 crore of the ₹1.25 lakh crore of seized money has already been returned to the people. More than ₹1.16 lakh crore worth of pro­ceeds of crime has been attached by ED since 2014, compared to only ₹5,000 crore before 2014. These findings show that our investigative agencies are doing their job well. Therefore, it is important to let these agencies operate without interference and without unfounded accusations of political bias.

There has been an effort to de-legitimise elections in India. It began with raising questions about EVMs and now there is a full-blown attack on the Election Commission. Some foreign publications have also joined this campaign. What is the reason for this attack?

Successive defeats and the fear of irrelevance can make people do very strange things.

Let me share a perspective with you: our party has spent a con­siderable amount of time in opposition, including the time when we had merely two MPs. We never ever discredited India’s vibrant democratic processes. On the contrary, we worked towards expanding our own party and going among the people, which is why today we have emerged as the people’s preferred choice.

In 2014, Congress got its lowest-ever tally in Indian his­tory. Their performance in 2019 was about the same. In normal circumstances, this should have been a cause of introspection but nothing of that sort has really happened. On the contrary, they have blamed everyone except themselves for their pitiable condition.

Over time, they have begun to discredit the electoral process of India. And it is laughable because they, too, have been winning elec­tions through this very process, including two states a year.

I just hope better sense prevails and they devote their time and en­ergy to more constructive things.

You recently signalled that you have a 100-day plan for the government after it takes over for a third term. Will this be policy moves?

If you look closely at the track record of my governments, wheth­er at the state or the national level, you will find that we believe in be­ginning with a bang. Usually, the first 100 days of any government are full of new energy due to the euphoria of electoral victory. It has been my firm belief that this en­ergy should be channelled to yield immediate benefits for the people by taking big and bold decisions.

This also sends a message to the administrative machinery about the momentum, pace and direction for the next five years.

Take 2019, for example. Within 100 days of our victory, a num­ber of big decisions were taken. There were many reforms in the banking sector, many of which directly resulted in the banking boom that we see today. The scope of PM Kisan was expanded from small and marginal farmers to all farmers. Amendments were made to the Unlawful Activities (Preven­tion) Act (UAPA) to strengthen India’s fight against terrorism. We had promised to form the Jal Shakti ministry and it was done in this period. The legislation against triple talaq became a reality. We acted against Article 370 and ensured that Babasaheb’s Constitution fully empowered the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Any government would like to have achieved such things in its whole five years. But we did all this within the first 100 days!

For 2024 too, yes, we began with a 100-day plan for the third term of our government. But seeing the enthusiastic response to our governance from the youth, we have increased the scope to a 125-day plan, with 25 days having specific focus on policy decisions to benefit the youth.

The upcoming Budget takes place in exceptional circum­stances. No government has had such an excellent macro­economic backdrop, especially with respect to resurgent economic growth. What will be the broad contours defining this year’s Budget?

I would like to humbly point out one nuance from your question. You said no government has had such an excellent macroeco­nomic backdrop and resurgent economic growth. It needs to be mentioned that these conditions did not happen of their own.

Bold economic reforms, keeping inflation down, continuous fillip to growth, focus on empowering the poor and marginalised sections, and fiscal discipline, even during a once-in-a-century global crisis, have given rise to a positive macroeconomic envi­ronment. In the past 10 years, our economy has grown but, at the same time, the benefits of growth have been taken to every region and every section of society. This will continue even in the future.

The upcoming Budget will take off where the interim Budget left off. With our interim Budget we have already shown that our focus is on strengthening the four pillars of our country—youth, poor, women, and farmers. It is these fellow citizens of ours who will be the key to building a Viksit Bharat.

There were big decisions for infrastructure, investment, indus­try and innovation in the Budget as well. You will find a further strengthening of these facets in the upcoming Budget.

One big feedback in this election is that aspirations have surged, especially since the new ecosystem is enabling social mobility. However, progress has not been easy, given that the legacy deficits—especially with respect to basics like banking, electricity, drinking water—are just being over­come, leaving most Indians at a disadvantage. How will the government help the youth realise their aspirations?

For a long time, Congress-led governments kept people deprived of even the basics because they were aware that delivering good governance would raise expectations and only increase work for them. They had a ‘basic minimum’ attitude. Congress carefully calibrated the minimum amount of work they needed to do for the minimum number of people to keep winning elections. They promised only that and delivered even less. In the next election, the same cycle would continue.

But we have broken this status quo of ‘basic minimum’ and worked on delivering a ‘100 per cent saturation model’ where ev­eryone will be guaranteed of getting the benefits of every govern­ment scheme, be it bank accounts, toilets, tap water, or electricity.

We knew this would give rise to expectations for more and it was our declared intention to fuel these aspirations. I see rising aspirations and expectations of the people, especially the youth, as a good sign for our democracy. Through this, we are setting up a political culture where good governance is demanded as a right by the people.

Right from Day One, even as we were working on fulfilling the basics, we have also been working on a detailed roadmap to empower our youth.

Our roadmap for the future, too, will encompass a 4E approach. 4E is Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment, and Emerging Sectors. When it comes to education, we are setting a furious pace, both in terms of quality and quantity. In the last 10 years, we have added a new college in India every day and a new university every week. Till 2014, there were less than 400 medical colleges in India. But today there are nearly 700. We have almost tripled the number of AIIMS in the country. There has also been a massive increase in the number of IITs, IIMs, IIITs, etc.

At the same time, just a few weeks ago, it was reported by the QS World University Rankings that, this year, Indian universities demonstrated the highest performance improvement among all G20 nations.

So, we are seeing a rise in both quantity and quality.

In terms of entrepreneurship, whether it is MUDRA Yojana or Startup India, our schemes have set a strong platform for our youth.

MUDRA has created around eight crore new entrepreneurs. And we have promised a doubling of MUDRA Yojana’s loan size in the new government. This will go a long way in funding the dreams of our youth.

We already have around one lakh registered startups and this number is only set to grow in future with more and more youth getting exposure to innovation, investment and information.

The employment scenario in our country is seeing a revolu­tion due to the push for Aatmanirbharta or self-reliance.

From a mobile importer, we became the second-largest manu­facturer of mobiles. From a country that imported toys, we have become a country whose toy exports have gone up in record numbers. Our defence exports have grown twentyfold in the last 10 years. We are also seeing massive growth in manufacturing across various sectors.

This momentum towards building a self-reliant industrial base, complemented by our efforts to impart skills to youth, will be a big factor in the rise of our economy to the top three in the world.

Added to this is our constant focus on emerging sectors or sunrise sectors that opens up new opportunities for youth. Semiconductors, space, AI, gaming, green energy, green hydro­gen, space, drones—many such sectors are being opened up for our youth. These will bring a fresh new wave of job creation. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Young India’s dreams come true in a New India.

Another singular achievement of your government has been its record with respect to the empowerment of women. Beginning with your first Independence Day speech, your government has accorded dignity and empowerment to women. How do you view the social impact of such a profound transformation?

When speaking of the transformation that the nation’s women have been leading over the past few years, I often get reminded of my conversation with a Lakhpati Didi from the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. So that your readers have some context, Lakhpati Didis are rural women who are organised into self-help groups (SHGs), where they work with each other to run grass­roots enterprises with financial assistance from the government. This has proven to be very successful across India, with one crore women becoming Lakhpati Didis already.

So, while I was speaking to this Lakhpati Didi, I asked her how her life changed. She said that earlier her husband used to travel around on a bicycle to his work. She found success in her small enterprise and she bought a scooter for him. Then, as an entre­preneur with a source of income, she took a loan and bought a tractor for him. That tractor became a source of income for him as well because he began to be called by farmers for the services of his tractor. She said they were on the verge of even repaying the tractor loan.

A number of socio-economic equations are being overturned by such schemes. Imagine the social impact that such work is bound to have when I say that we will work to create three crore Lakhpati Didis.

Our vision of women-led development is where women are not waiting to be empowered by others but are leading the em­powerment of themselves and others. The government will play the role of an enabler. This was just one example.

But be it Jan Dhan accounts, toilets, tap water, MUDRA loans, or Ujjwala LPG connections, most of our flagship schemes have women as a central focus. Because the people most affected by the lack of these resources were women. Now, the movement of women on the path of social and financial leadership is on an upward trajectory and will continue to be so.

Your government is unique given that it has managed to achieve convergence between domestic and foreign policies. How will your government ensure this endures, given the heightened fluidity in geopolitics?

The reason you see this convergence between domestic and foreign policies is that the basic principle for both is the same— Nation First. This principle sets all our priorities. So, when we are thinking of taking a tough decision domestically, our litmus test is not the political cost-benefit calculation but whether this is good for the nation or not.

When people see that we are putting national interest above politics, the support for our policy becomes broad-based. This massive backing of the people also serves us well in international relations because the world knows India’s leadership has the confidence of 140 crore people.

Countries that are working with us are also clear about our priorities. Be it in terms of energy security, combating climate change, trade, securing our borders, or rescuing our people from conflict zones, the world knows that India will do whatever is necessary for the welfare of its people and the world.

No matter how fluid geopolitics becomes, I believe there is space for a human-centric and principle-based approach. We saw this recently even during the G20 summit when the world came together in India. Our human-centric vision of progress is receiving widespread global support and I am confident that we will continue to do so.

You have reoriented politics in the last 10 years by empower­ing hitherto ignored categories like women. This has blunted entitlement politics. How do you see things panning out in the coming years?

Your question has the answer within it. How could we, as a nation, progress when more than half our population was ignored and deprived of any opportunity to contribute to national growth?

In these 10 years, we have not just empowered women, the marginalised and the backward communities; we have actually made them pivot points for prosperity. In the last 10 years, we have moved beyond the conventional idea of mere women’s empowerment or women’s development to a much larger vision of women-led development.

Each and every individual who has been touched or empow­ered with a government scheme has then passed on the benefits of their progress to those around them.

Till August 2023, we had provided over 43 crore MUDRA loans—of which around 70 per cent were provided to women. These loans led to the creation of eight crore new businesses; as these businesses grow, so will the number of individuals they employ and benefit. Since that time we have provided five crore more MUDRA loans—so you can imagine the pace at which this support and empowerment have gone forward and in our next term we aim to take it even further by doubling the credit avail­ability of MUDRA loans up to ₹20 lakh.

We passed the historic Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in our new Parliament—and in future you will see how this historic legislation, which the opposition kept delaying, will empower not just women to become people’s representatives but also our entire legislature.

Similarly, two schemes which have led to the comprehen­sive and holistic enhancement of people’s lives have been the PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY. Every home built under PMAY is not just four walls and a roof, it is the centre of economic activity and a runway for aspirations to take flight—of these homes, 70 per cent have the name of one of my sisters, my mothers or my daughters on the registration.

Similarly, with the Ayushman Bharat scheme we have en­sured that the gains made by poor families to lift themselves out of poverty are made irreversible. With Ayushman Bharat, seven crore families did not have to mortgage their savings, their land, their homes or their jewellery just to cover the cost of hospital admissions and treatments. You can imagine the boost it gives to their aspirations. In our next term, we are expanding the scope and coverage of both these schemes.

Overall, this is what we aim to do, we do not look at our achieve­ments as a culmination, but rath­er as the beginning of the road to a Viksit Bharat where every member of our society, regardless of caste, gender, colour, religion or location, is a beneficiary and contributor, where Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas is integral to our progress and prosperity.

In the last 10 years, you have acted decisively against what some experts call “regulatory cholesterol”. You have been against red-tapism. But do you think enough has been done?

In today’s world, there is a startup idea being discussed in every sin­gle classroom, café, and corner. From a village that may want to innovate around horticulture and handlooms to a group of students who may want to experiment with AI and machine learning, we have aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. I do not want these aspiring entrepreneurs to worry about red tape. Every minute is critical for businesses, small and big, and therefore, it was impor­tant to do away with redundant and restrictive policies. By doing away with more than 39,000 un­necessary compliances and 1,500 archaic laws, or bringing the Jan Vishwas Act aimed at decriminal­ising and rationalising the system for ease of doing business, we have removed the speed breakers and pressed the accelerator for speedy and effective governance.

Excessive red-tapism has also been addressed by integrating digital public infrastructure (DPI) in the routine processes. Be it the Goods and Services Tax (GST), or a simple process of availing a loan, I don’t want our wealth creators to squander their precious time combating bureaucratic hurdles.

When I took over in 2014, one of my mottos was ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’. Ten years later, we have achieved that. Could anyone have imagined in 2014 that 52 crore new bank account holders could access micro loans without even going to the bank?

From micro to macro, the red lights in the path of ease of doing business are now green.

Centre-state relations are always a tricky area—especially when a section of the opposition believes in the politics of confrontation. How do you propose to get a convergence and insulate the economy from troublesome elements?

Not a single one of the opposition’s narratives has been accepted in the court of law or in the people’s court. Take for example, the Vande Bharat trains, airports or Metros—it is clear that they have been started in every part of the country—north, south, centre, east and west. Similarly, expressways, Jan Dhan accounts, start­ups, MUDRA and SVANidhi loans, PMAY homes, PM Kisan payments and completion of many stalled projects—all of this has been achieved at a pan-India level. Tax devolution, which the opposition was attempting to make an issue, has increased exponentially to all states.

Our government has written a new chapter on co-operative and competitive federalism. GST is a model for Centre-state co­operation and its success shows what we have achieved together. The aspirational districts programme has seen good convergence at Centre, state and district levels. We have encouraged and incen­tivised ease of doing business at the state level. During Covid-19, we made unprecedented efforts and took all states along. We also allowed excess borrowing depending on reforms done by states. We saw all states and over 100 cities host G20 events.

As far as the question of safeguarding the economy is concerned, I believe that if I can shield my people against the challenges across the world, if I can provide them with a Surak­sha Kavach, I can ensure that our economy will continue to grow and thrive.

I am a son of a poor family; my party is made up of people who come from a farming family, a middle-class family, a poor family. This is why our government has ensured that while those from poor families, those fighting poverty, will get the security of Modi, they will get a Guarantee of Modi, they will get a Suraksha Kavach around them.

Even as the world battled with double-digit inflation, we ensured that inflation in India remained in the manageable category. In the last 10 years, the average inflation has been less than 5 per cent.

I will also cite some examples—today, if you want the best treatment, you are covered with Ayushman Bharat Yojana; if you want quality medicines, you can get them from a Janausha­dhi Kendra; if you worry about getting food for your family, the Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is there for you; if you are a farmer and worry about your basic needs, at a time when the price of urea is touching ₹3,000, my farmer brothers and sisters are getting it for ₹300.

For the last 10 years and in future as well, our vision of putting India first, Indians first, Indian interests first, will continue. This security—this Suraksha Kavach—around Indians will continue; that is our first and foremost priority.

The markets are holding firm despite attempts to derail them. Is it because of confidence in policy continuity—in other words, your continuation as prime minister?

I came to know that the markets were at an all-time high earlier this week. Clearly, a lot of factors are driving this upward trend, both globally and nationally. If you look at the markets at any given point, globally and not merely in India, you will realise that the factors driving investor sentiment, institutional or individual, are quite similar. Businesses like policy continuity that comes only from political stability and that stability only comes from a government that has a majority.

Can you imagine how markets would react if we had a new prime minister every year, as a part of a forced coalition? We have had coalitions in the past, but none as fractured as the one proposed by our opposition. This coalition is not about clarity or conviction but chaos and confusion.

The markets have covered a journey from 25000 to 75000 on the Sensex in our 10 years. Markets have seen that ours is a government which is reform-oriented and has also improved the participation of retail investors significantly.

Our government has always been about celebrating wealth and employment-creation. From a woman running a small business in some village to a corporate employing thousands of people, our policies are all about empowering entrepreneurs.

Every single welfare programme or policy initiative we ran, from Jan Dhan Yojana to the Open Network for Digital Com­merce, for the people was to enable them to become economic stakeholders in the country’s progress.

We are poised to become the third-largest economy in the world. The confidence you see in the markets is their perception of the people and their mandate for a developed nation.

We pulled 25 crore people out of multidimensional poverty and we have empowered 100 crore people in the last 10 years, and in the next 10 years, these empowered households are going to lead the Indian growth story. These people are going to become the new wealth and job creators.

The strong buoyancy you are witnessing in the markets is a testament to the times to come. No one can derail the Indian growth story now. Several CEOs in the West are already saying that going forward you cannot ignore India. If they can’t ignore India and its imminent growth, how do you think markets in our financial capital can?

Banking was one sector that bore the brunt in the UPA years. How did the government manage to overcome the problem?

This is a very important question, and I am glad you asked me about this. When we took over in 2014, we inherited what has been described as the ‘Twin Balance Sheet Problem’. The origins of this problem were in the exuberant credit growth that was al­lowed for some corporations. As you would know, several of these corporations had their projects ending up as Non-Performing As­sets (NPAs). Preferential treatment by the previous government for a few corporations created the plague of NPAs. This was your era of phone-banking.

In 2014, banks had a critical problem. They had NPAs on their balance sheets which they could not get rid of, and because of that they were unable to lend to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. The public sector banks (PSBs) were recording losses every year. Our banking system was in a credit deadlock. That was the mess Congress had left behind.

We introduced new reforms to recognise existing and poten­tial NPAs, created laws that ensured easy exit for a business if it was running at a loss through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2016), as that would benefit the creditors as well.

For 70 years, no government had worked on such reforms but for us it was a priority because, unlike Congress, we could not leave the entire banking system at risk.

Ten years later, bank profits have exceeded ₹3 lakh crore in FY24. There is no credit deadlock anymore and everyone, from a woman working in an SHG to an entrepreneur, can access credit as per their eligibility.

Even though there were some economists who predicted that our MUDRA loan programme would usher in the next NPA crisis, the NPA ratio is very low, even when over 43 crore loans worth ₹22.5 lakh crore have been given.

The buck does not stop here. Financial inclusion, because of DPI, is now making personalised bank­ing possible for every single house­hold, without any paperwork.

On the foundation of Jan Dhan- Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM), we now have the Account Aggregator (AA) framework that is enabling people to access multiple credit options from the comfort of their homes, and availing credit in minutes.

Congress ended up with an NPA crisis because their focus was nar­rowed to a few corporations, but our priority was inclusive growth, and that reflects in the current health of the banking system after a decade of our being in power.

Why are your rivals, particular­ly the members of the Gandhi family, angry with you?

I can’t answer that question. It is best that they do. What have they not done to harass me? And it has been going on for two decades and more.

For my part, all I can say is that I have malice towards no one.

The people of India have seen the injustice, abuse, character as­sassination they have unleashed on me and have given me unparalleled affection. I am grateful for that.

Source: Open Magazine