Using his significant political capital to send out one of the clearest messages a political leader has done in recent times on the need for fiscal prudence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said some “tough economic decisions” are on the anvil to improve the financial health of the country.
He indicated that the “stringent measures” he plans to undertake — his government will present its first budget less than a month from now — may not go down well with every section but it is necessary in “the larger interest of the nation”.
Addressing BJP workers in Taligaon in Goa, Modi hit out at the previous UPA government for its handling of the economy. “I have taken over the reins of the country in circumstances when there is nothing left behind by the previous government. They left everything empty. The country’s financial health has hit the bottom.”
He said “tough economic decisions will be required to bring the country out of the current economic mess”. He expressed confidence that the “stringent measures” for prudent financial discipline will not be for his own or his party’s interest, but “the larger interest of the nation”.
“I am well aware that my steps may dent the immense love that the country has given me. But when my countrymen realise that these steps will result in getting the financial health back, then I will regain that love,” he said.
Modi said his government will remain connected to the people and work to empower them for the development process. “The government has begun its work well. For ten years, the people of this country have not witnessed a working government in Delhi. Our government will work with a clear conscience, clear policy and strong leadership to provide good governance,” he said.
Referring to the mandate the BJP got, he said the era of coalition politics has ended. “People have given a clear indication that political parties, whether in power or in opposition, must pay heed to people’s expectations. This election has also proved that people have defeated the politics of casteism, communalism, nepotism and family. People decided that a government should be formed to provide security, prosperity, eliminate corruption and meet the aspirations of the people, solve their problems,” he said.
“We won’t be helping the country by praising Modi and praising BJP. There is no guarantee that just singing praise of Modi will improve the situation. We need to take tough measures to improve the financial situation,” he said.
Later, Modi tweeted that “time has come to take tough decisions in the interest of the nation. Whatever decisions we take will be solely guided by national interest.”
He said it is wrong to think that people in government are not willing to work for the country. “In a government set-up, most officials would like to do something for the country. They are ready to work. This is what I can say from my experience as the Prime Minister in the last fifteen days.”
Arvind Kejriwal has now proposed the name of K K Sharma, Chief Secretary of Goa.