When he stormed to power a year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised “achche din” (good days). After a year in office, Modi on Monday said he has rid the country of “bure din” (bad days), and counted this as one of his biggest achievements.
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Hitting back at the Congress, which criticised him for not fulfilling his poll promises, he said he did not promise “achche din” to those who looted the country. “Their bure din have come, so they are rattled and shouting… I did not promise achche din for those who looted the country. They will have to face more bure din,” he said, addressing a public meeting at this village, near where Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay was born, on the eve of his government’s anniversary.
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“Had the UPA ruled for one more year, what would have been the situation of this country? Wasn’t the country facing bad days? Wasn’t the country being governed through remote control? Wasn’t there news of a scandal or corruption everyday? Weren’t officers and politicians going to jail? Wasn’t there corruption in organising sporting events, allocation of coal blocks and spectrum. Weren’t there stories about some son or son-in-law every other day,” said Modi.
“How bad were those days? How bad was the situation? Those bad days are over now. Hasn’t the situation changed? Hasn’t loot and theft ended? I had promised that I would work as your prime servant. I have fulfilled my promise, haven’t I?” he said.
With Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi dubbing his government as a “suit-boot ki sarkar” which caters to the interests of a handful of businessmen, Modi, during his one-hour-long speech, focussed only on the poor, farmers and the middle class.
He spoke about his government’s initiatives for the poor. “This government is for the poor and their welfare,” he said, recalling that he had told this to his party MPs after being elected as the parliamentary party leader last year. He said his government was committed to providing houses for all by 2022.
Interestingly, he quoted former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s famous observation about funds allocated by the government not reaching the intended beneficiaries. He said his government has put in place a system to ensure that every rupee reaches the poor.
Targeting the Congress, he said Delhi’s power corridors have now been cleansed of middlemen and brokers. “For the last 60 years, there were several power circles in the power corridors in Delhi. Now middlemen and brokers have no place in the power corridors… Obviously, some people are rattled and they are shouting. Their problem is that while achche din came for everyone, they are facing bure din,” he said.
While he listed his government’s initiatives like the Jan Dhan Yojana, direct cash transfer of subsidy on gas cylinders, Swachh Bharat, ‘Skill India’, creation of jobs for the youth, introduction of neem-coated urea to check its diversion, pension, insurance and other social security schemes for the poor, Modi was silent on big-ticket projects like Make in India, bullet trains, smart cities and economic reform initiatives like relaxation in land acquisition norms and enhanced FDI in insurance. There was no mention of recovering black money either.
Modi counted Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia as the three leaders who influenced and gave direction to India’s political thought in the last century.