Hinting that he was ready for another term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that a “very senior” Opposition leader, whom he respects, had once asked “what else” was left for him to accomplish after becoming PM twice — but he will not rest till “100 per cent” coverage of Government schemes was achieved.
Speaking virtually at the Utkarsh Samaroh in Bharuch, where beneficiaries of four Central Government schemes were assembled, Modi said: “Once I met a leader…he is a very senior leader…he has been a political opponent, but I do respect him. One day, he came to meet me, to sort out some issues. He said, ‘Modiji, now what else do you want to do? The country has made you prime minister twice’.”
Modi said: “He thought that becoming prime minister twice was a huge achievement.
He does not know that this Modi is made of something else…it is the soil of Gujarat that has shaped him. It is not enough that I should rest now, (thinking) that everything that has happened is good…No…My dream is saturation…meet your target 100 per cent. Get the government machinery into a habit, create faith in the citizens.”
The Prime Minister said when he was elected in 2014, “almost half the country was 100 miles away from toilets, vaccination, electricity, bank accounts, in a way they were denied. In all these years with all our efforts many schemes have achieved 100 per cent saturation”.
According to him, these were “difficult tasks and politicians are afraid to touch them” but he was not here to “do politics, but to serve citizens of the country”.
“The country has vowed to reach the target of 100 per cent. When this happens, the citizen begins to believe that I have a right to this money, and this sows a seed of duty. And when this saturation happens, there is no possibility of discrimination, there is no need for recommendation. When this happens, the politics of appeasement ends,” Modi said.
“Once there was news about a security threat to me, once there was news about my illness…then I said, ‘brother, I have the blessings of crores of mothers and sisters and till the time I have this shield, nobody can do anything to me’,” he said.
He said he was working like a “family member” and that his Government, having completed eight years in office, was moving ahead with a “new promise and new energy”.
Modi also said that his Government had provided 50 crore people the cover of Rs five lakh each under the health insurance scheme, crores had been covered under the accident insurance scheme, and the pension scheme for the senior citizens.
People have got their own homes, gas connections, power connections, water connections and bank accounts, he said. “The poor would spend half their lives running around government offices, our government changed all that,” he said.