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This is a time for 'Sankalp Se Siddhi.' We have to identify our targets and work towards achieving them by 2022: PM Modi
PM Modi remembers contribution of former VP and former Rajasthan CM, Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, says he worked towards modernising Rajasthan
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Jan Dhan Yojana changed this and the poor got access to banking facilities: PM
It was our commitment to make OROP a reality and we worked towards making that possible: PM Modi

 

Greetings to my dear brothers and sisters who are present here in large numbers!

Two days ago the festival of Makar Sankranti was celebrated in every corner of India. The essence of evolution is associated with Makar Sankranti. Development is intrinsic in Makar Sankranti. After the festival of Makar Sankranti a major effort or an initiative, a project is going to start today from the soil of Rajasthan that will supply fuel to the whole of India. I want to congratulate Vasundhara ji and Dharmendra Pradhan Ji for organising this programme for the commencement of this work. Generally, when any government or a politician lays the foundation-stone of something then the people ask about the possible date of commencement of the actual work related to it. So after this programme, awareness will be spread across the country that the people cannot be misled just by laying the foundation-stone. When some work is actually commenced, the common man believes that.

I am glad that I got this opportunity to be a part of this journey of development by inaugurating this programme. While the officers were providing me with the details of the project and after they felt that they had given every piece of information to the Prime Minister, I asked them about the date of inauguration. I was reassured about the date. India will be celebrating 75th year of independence in the year 2022. The heroes of India - the freedom fighters who had spent their youth behind the prisons and those who had sacrificed their lives and had raised the slogan of Vande Mataram, had dreamt of a free India, grand India and a Divine India. The country became independent. Now, India will complete 75 years of its independence in the year 2022. It is the responsibility of all of us, of every Indian and of the 125 crore citizens to build the India that was visualised by the great freedom fighters and dedicate it to them. It is time to fulfil the resolutions. Today, you have taken the resolution to start the work of this refinery by 2022. I am confident that this resolution will be fulfilled and by the time the country celebrates 75 years of independence it will start getting new energy from here. Therefore, I extend my best wishes to the Government of Rajasthan, the efforts of Government of India, to the department of Mr Dharmendra ji and to all my brothers and sisters of Rajasthan.

The land of Barmer is endowed with the blessings of Rawal Mallinath, Saint Tulsiram, Mother Bhatiyani, Mother Nagnechi, Saint Ishwar Das, Saint Daru ji Megh and countless such saints. Today I salute that land.

The land of Panchpadra provided the country with freedom fighters like the late Gulabchand Salecha ji who had led the Salt Satyagraha much before Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha. Gulabchand ji is remembered for his efforts in bringing drinking water, train connectivity and opening the first college in this area. I also salute this son of Panchpadra.

Brothers and sisters,

Today I want to remember Bhairon Singh Shekhawat ji on this soil. I want to mention all the great contributions made by Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat today who had made efforts to modernize Rajasthan, to make a crisis-free Rajasthan and who had envisaged this refinery of Barmer. Today on the land of Barmer I want to request all the people present here to pray to the almighty for the son of the soil Mr Jaswant Singh Ji so that he gets well soon and the country can avail the benefits of his experience once again. And I believe that god will listen to our prayers.

Brothers and sisters,

Unfortunately, there is a tendency of forgetting history in our country. Recalling the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters inspires every generation to create a new history and we should keep seeking such inspiration. You must have seen that the Prime Minister of Israel has come on a visit to India. He has visited India after 14 years. I was the first Prime Minister since independence who had visited Israel. My countrymen and my heroes of Rajasthan, you all will be proud to know that even with time constraints I had visited Haifa in Israel and had offered my condolences to the soldiers who had sacrificed their lives about 100 years ago in the First World War. It was led by a brave Indian son Major Dalpat Singh ji. Major Dalpat Singh Shekhawat had liberated Haifa, leading the army in World War 1 about 100 years ago.

There is a place called Teen Murti Chowk in Delhi. It has the statues of three great heroes. As soon as the Prime Minister of Israel landed in India, both of us visited the Teen Murti Chowk. The Teen Murti Chowk was constructed in the memory of the sacrifice made by Major Dalpat Singh and this time the Prime Minister of Israel visited the place to salute him. Both of us had visited the place and the Teen Murti Chowk was renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk so that the history and Major Dalpat Singh are not forgotten and the tradition of Rajasthan is always remembered. I got this opportunity to do this job two days ago.

Brothers and sisters,

This is the land of Heroes. This is the land of martyrs. There won't be any event in the history of sacrifices in which the heroes of this land would not have shed their blood. I salute all such heroes today.

Brothers and sisters,

I used to visit Rajasthan quiet a lot. On certain occasions I came here for the work of my organisation and sometimes as the Chief Minister of the neighbouring Gujarat. I have come to this area several times. Every time I used to hear from the common man that Congress and famine were twin brothers. Wherever Congress goes, the famine follows. Under Vasundhara ji, who had got the opportunity to serve the people of Rajasthan, this barren land is receiving enough water.

Brothers and sisters,

But we have to move even further ahead than this. We have to carry Rajasthan forward. Rajasthan's journey of development is going to provide a new strength to the development of the country.

Brothers and sisters,

Dharmendra ji and Vasundhara ji were complaining and they were right about their complaints. Is it just for the refinery of Barmer? Was the foundation-stone of such a refinery laid and photographed only here? Wasn't it an attempt to cheat people? I would like to invite all those people who are accustomed to do a little research to find out whether this has been the work culture of the Congress governments - to make tall promises and misleading the public? This matter is not limited to the refinery of Barmer. This is part of their work culture and habit.

After I became the Prime Minister I was looking at the Railway Budget. Out of my habit I asked that so many announcements were made during the Railway Budget, can you tell what happened after that? Brothers and sisters, you will be shocked to know that in a place like Parliament, which is considered as the temple of democracy, the country is being misled. Several governments were formed earlier and more than 1500 schemes were announced in the Railway Budget which do not exist in reality and are just on papers.

There are some people in Parliament who just clap when Railway projects are announced for their areas and the Railway Minister becomes satisfied. Later on, there is no one to pursue the projects further. After we came to power we decided to stop this tradition of appeasement by using railway budget. We will make only those many schemes that can be implemented in reality. We might be criticized in the beginning but gradually the country will gain the strength to do the right thing and accept the right thing and we want to work in that direction.

Moreover, if we talk of One Rank One Pension; my soldiers are sitting here; they will tell you. Wasn’t the demand for One Rank One Pension been raised for the past 40 years? Weren't the army men promised every time? Before every election tall promises were made in this regard. This is their habit. In 2014 you must have seen how they were again talking about One Rank One Pension and circulating photographs clicked with retired army men.

Later, when on 15 September 2013, I announced in Rewari, if our government comes to power One Rank One Pension scheme would be implemented for ex-serviceman, under a lot of pressure they hurriedly announced 500 crore rupees for One Rank One Pension in the interim budget. Much like the same way they had laid the foundation-stone of this refinery.

See, this is a kind of treachery which was just a lip service before elections. In our budget we had allocated money for one rank one pension. We ensured the implementation of one rank one pension as we had promised before the elections. We used to pursue the matter in case of delays. You will be surprised to know that even though their budget mentioned 500 crore rupees, the actual implementation of One Rank One Pension was not there. What were the eligibility criteria for one rank one pension? What would be the financial burden? You will be surprised to know that only the refinery was on papers but one rank one pension was not even on the papers. There was neither any plan nor any list but only an election promise.

Brothers and sisters,

I was committed to complete that work but it took me one-and-a-half years as it took time to compile everything on papers. Everything was in a mess. The residential addresses of the ex-servicemen could not be located. The correct figures were not available. I was astonished to see that these things, meant for the country’s soldiers who are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the country, were in a mess. I started collecting the data and after all the calculations, brothers and sisters, the figure which I had earlier thought to be 500 crores, 1000 crores, 1500 crores and 2000 crores totalled up to more than 12000 crores! The Congress Party was trying to implement this programme with just 500 crore rupees. Was it an honest initiative? Did they really want to give something to the army men? Were they really honest towards the retired Army personnel? I don't think that the Finance Minister of that time was so weak. However, they placed 500 crore rupees for the foundation stone of the refinery and marked that in the budget and ended the topic there itself.

Brothers and sisters,

As I said, the amount totalled up to 12 thousand crore rupees. So I called the representatives of the army men. I said, "I want to give you the promised amount but there is not enough money in the government's treasury. It will be difficult for me to give the entire amount of 12 thousand crores at once. Those people were talking about 500 crores but since the amount totals up to 12 thousand crore rupees I want to give it in an honest way. So I need your help."

The army men told me-" Sir Prime Minister, kindly don't embarrass us. You can openly tell us how we can help you?" I said-"well, I don't need anything. You have already contributed a lot for the country but kindly help me out. I won't be able to hand over the entire 12 thousand crores at one go. If I do that, then I will have to stop some of the welfare schemes for the poor. This will be a grave injustice to them. So just a single request, will it be okay for you all if I give the amount in four instalments?" The brave army men of my country had been fighting for the past 40 years for One Rank One Pension. Now they had a committed Prime Minister. They could have easily said - "Modiji, the previous governments have cheated us. We don't want to wait anymore. If possible then hand over to us the amount or else we will go our way." They could have said that but they didn't.

The army men of my country are still the army men from their hearts and minds even without the uniform. They will think of the welfare of the country till the last breath. Immediately they said -" Sir Prime Minister, we have faith in your words. You may give it in four or six instalments but kindly decide this matter once for all. We will accept whatever you decide."

Brothers and sisters,

It was the strength of the army personnel that I could arrive at a decision and till date I have given them four instalments. 10 thousand and 700 crores have been deposited in their accounts and the remaining instalments will soon reach their accounts. So, it had become their habit to lay the foundation-stones and to run the government machinery in that way.

You tell me, we have been hearing the slogan of 'Garibi hatao' (remove poverty) for the past 4 decades. You must have seen the game during the elections in which the poor are also dragged. But have you ever seen any scheme for the welfare of the poor? You won't find any. Even after 70 years of Independence they will say - go and dig the pit and take something to eat at the end of the day. If there was a real concern for them, then my country's poor would have used all their strengths to defeat poverty.

We want to empower the poor. The banks were nationalised but remained inaccessible to the poor. After 70 years of Independence when we formed the government, a decision was made to bring the poor to the mainstream in the journey of country's development. So we brought the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Today about 32 crore people have bank accounts under this scheme. Brothers and sisters, at that time I had also said that the poor will have the option of opening a zero balance account. The country's poor may be financially poor, but they have a rich mind-set. I have seen some wealthy people who are poor in terms of their mentality. We had given them the provision of zero balance account but the poor felt that some amount should be deposited in it. My dear brothers and sisters, I am glad and proud to inform you that the people who had opened zero balance accounts today have 72 thousand crores in their Jan Dhan accounts. Ironically, the rich wants to withdraw money from their accounts while the poor deposits the amount in the banks honestly. This is how poverty should be fought against.

Brothers and sisters,

You are aware of the fact that earlier one had to be after the MPs for six-seven months for getting a gas connection. Each MP was given 25 coupons in a year to provide gas connection to 25 families. Sometimes we could hear of cases where the MPs used to sell the coupons in black.

Brothers and sisters,

Should my poor mothers and sisters spend their lives in smoke by burning firewood even today? Is this the way how we do welfare for the poor? Those mothers and sisters are compelled to inhale the smoke from the firewood while cooking. The smoke is equivalent to smoking 400 cigarettes. Even the children of that household are seriously affected by it.

Brothers and sisters,

We have taken the responsibility. The welfare of the poor cannot be done merely by raising slogans. We need to change their lives. We came up with Ujjwala Yojana under which gas connections were provided to approximately 3 crore 30 lakh families. We have freed crores of mothers from the firewood and smoke. Now tell me, whether every such mother will shower her blessings on Narendra Modi while cooking or not? She would take the pledge to protect us because she knows that this is the right way to fight against poverty.

Brothers and sisters,

Even after 70 years of Independence, there were 18000 villages without the access to electricity. In the 21st century, those people were compelled to live in an 18th century-like situation. They might be thinking-" are we still an independent nation? Is this the so-called democracy? I go and vote during elections. But what sort of governments are these that could not provide electricity in our villages even after 70 years of Independence? Brothers and sisters, I have taken the responsibility of providing electricity to these 18000 villages. About 2000 villages remain to be electrified. The work is going on at a rapid pace. Now they have got the opportunity to live in 21st century-like conditions.

Even after 70 years of Independence, there are 4 crore families without any access to electricity. We have taken the responsibility of providing free electricity to these 4 crore families by the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The children of those families will be able to study after that. We have to empower the poor if we want to fight against poverty. We have to move ahead with all these challenges.

Brothers and sisters,

This refinery will change the face and fate of this region. You can imagine how this big industry in such a desert will help in providing jobs to the locals. It provides jobs not only within the industry but also outside it through the chains created by it. Small industries will come up because of it, as this big industry will require a complete infrastructure - water, electricity, gas connection, optical fibre network etc. In other words, the entire economy of the area will change.

When officers and bureaucrats arrive here, automatically several new institutions of education will come up. When people will start coming here in large numbers to work from other parts of India and also from Rajasthan like Udaipur, Banswara, Bharatpur, Kota or Alwar or Ajmer, then healthcare facilities will also start developing.

Therefore brothers and sisters,

A sea change will sweep the area within 5 years; you can easily visualise that. Today the programme that I will be inaugurating here is a loss for me and for the Indian government. Had some work been done before by the previous government, then the government would have saved about 40 thousand crore rupees.

But Vasundhara ji has the samskaras (values) of the Royal family as well as of the Marwaris. She had tried to extract as much as possible from the central government. This is possible only with Bharatiya Janata Party. The Chief Minister becomes adamant to get her wish fulfilled for the welfare of her state even if the centre has the same government. I congratulate Vasundhara ji for her efforts in saving Rajasthan's money and advising the Indian government for framing the right scheme. Consequently, both Vasundhara ji and Dharmendra ji worked together to make the stalled project a reality. I congratulate both of you and best wishes to you all. Speak along with me loudly- Victory to Mother India!!

The country will get fuel from the land of Barmer. This refinery is going to represent the energy of the entire country. I hope that this energy will start from here and reach in every corner of the country. With these wishes- khamma ghani!! (Greetings in Marwari language)

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Social Media Corner 20th November 2019
November 20, 2019
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