Jawans and farmers are the biggest sufferers in the doles and deals which have harmed India’s development journey, said PM Modi on Saturday at the India Today Conclave.
Taking a dig at Congress, PM Modi said, “Why is it that those who ruled India for so many years had so many scams in their era? From jeeps to tanks to helicopters. Who is every deal maker close to? Who is every middle man close to? The entire nation knows and the Lutyens lobby definitely knows.”
He further said how from 2009 to 2014, during UPA 2, not a single bulletproof jacket was procured by the Congress-led government. “It is common knowledge that one of the things our armed forces regularly need is bulletproof jackets. Between 2009 and 2014 not a single bulletproof jacket was procured. From 2014, 2,30,000 bulletproof jackets were bought. Corridors of power are free from middlemen because this govt will never tolerate any corruption,” he asserted.
Speaking on the doles dished out by previous UPA government, PM Modi said, “Those in power love the doles. Doles not to empower the poor. They were given so that poor remain poor and they remain at mercy of political class.”
Adding that farm loan waivers do not really empower the farmers, PM Modi said, “No economist or policy expert will say loan waiver will solve our agrarian issue. Every 10 years the UPA came up with these. They did nothing during their tenure, but at 11th hour offered loan waiver.”
Speaking on the approach taken by the Modi government to ease the debt burden of farmers, he said, through Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the government has given a comprehensive scheme to farmers. “On February 1, the scheme was announced and February 24, the scheme was launched. During previous government, this much time would have gone in deciding after which family member the scheme should be named,” PM Modi took a jibe on the Nehru-Gandhi family in whose names many schemes are named.
PM Modi furthered that his government does not believe in tokenism. “India has been battling poverty since decades. The token slogan was ‘Garibi Hatao‘. It was never specified how. No method was chalked out how to achieve it. The need for financial inclusion has been known for decades. Nationalisation of banks was tokenism. How many actually had access to banks? OROP has been a 40-year-old demand, and in 2014 budget, right before elections, a token Rs 500 crore was allotted.
“Contrary to that, Jan Dhan Yojana deals with financial inclusion and banking for all. Housing for all initiative aims for a house for every Indian by 2022. We have made remarkable progress of constructing 1.5 crore homes already as against the 25 lakhs constructed by the UPA. Under Ayushman Bharat, healthcare for all scheme, 50 crore Indians will benefit. We have allotted Rs 35,000 crore for OROP against Rs 500 crore by UPA.
“Even 70 years after independence, 18,000 villages didn’t have electricity. Now all these 18,000 villages are electrified. We are now focusing on household electrification,” PM Modi said.
He then questioned the issues ignored by the UPA. “I want to ask why do people still have to defecate openly? Why no government sensitivity towards the divyangs? Why was river Ganga was so polluted? Why was the North East ignored? Why was there no national war memorial for our brave soldiers? Why was there no memorial for our brave police force? After independence, over 35,000 policemen have been martyred. Why no flag was unfurled at the Red Fort in memory of the Azad Hind Fauj?”
Recounting the progress of his government, he said that the GDP growth during the last five years has been highest as compared to the time between 1991 to 2014. The last five years has also seen a reduced rate of inflation, fastest construction of roads, railways development, construction of houses for poor as well as setting up of mobile manufacturing units. He added that the country now has a fast-growing network of optical fibres and the FDI is flowing in faster than ever and the cleanliness is increasing at phenomenal speed.