In an indication that poverty alleviation efforts of his government will be a central theme of the BJP’s campaign for the general election next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the previous Congress-led government for its purported failure on this front and accused the Manmohan Singh dispensation of not being serious about poverty alleviation, and working only to promote the “name of a particular family”.
The NDA Government has given a strong impetus to the housing sector.
More houses are being built, with much better facilities. pic.twitter.com/2MDVpy3NiE
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 19, 2018
Modi, who was in Shirdi, in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, to commemorate the conclusion of the year-long centenary celebrations of Saibaba Samadhi, addressed a rally in the temple town and said the UPA “used poverty as a campaign for serving vested interests and growth of one family”. He did not name the Nehru-Gandhi family.
“The previous (UPA) government built only 25 lakh houses for the poor in the last four years of its term (2010-14), while the present government (NDA) has created 1.25 crore houses in its four-year tenure,” Modi said. At the UPA’S pace, he stressed, it would have taken 20 years to complete 1.25 crore houses.
The NDA has almost accomplished half its road map, and housing for all by 2022 is a reality, he claimed.
Modi claimed that the devotion and sincere efforts of the BJP-led government has been the real difference. “After all, we have also used the same resources and manpower. But it was the political will to bring change to help the poor that led to expeditious completion of projects.”
The Prime Minister, who offered prayers at Shirdi temple, on Friday launched the project of 2.50 lakh houses built by Maharashtra government under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). It was followed by an interaction with the beneficiaries across several districts of Maharashtra through a video conferencing facilities to get their views and emphasise on the significance of the flagship projects such as housing, Ayushmaan Bharat and Swachh Bharat.
Speaking on PMAY, Modi said it took 18 months to complete one house under the UPA government. “We do it in less than 12 months. Moreover we are providing bigger houses to the poor,” he said. “The financial assistance for housing scheme has been increased from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.20 lakh, which is directly credited in the accounts of individuals. Thus, agents who exploited the poor have been eliminated.”
Referring to the ambitious Ayushyaman Bharat scheme, he said it reflects the unwavering commitment of this government to provide free medical service to every individual in the country. Exhorting people to make optimum use of the scheme, he said, “Every year, 50 crore people will be provided financial help up to Rs 5 lakh for medical treatment. The objective is to ensure nobody should be deprived of medical treatment.”
Under this scheme the medical infrastructure will be modernised, generating new employment opportunities for youths, the Prime Minister said.
On agriculture, which is a hot button issue in many states, including Maharashtra, Modi said that the government’s assurance of one-and-a-half times more than the minimum support price (MSP) promises higher remuneration for farmers. The government has covered 21 crops under kharif and rabi under MSP scheme, it was pointed out.