Saharanpur: On the day BJP-led NDA government completed two years in office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that he would continue to be 'pradhan sevak' of 125 crore people of India.
As the 'pradhan sewak', a term he has often used for himself, PM Modi, addressing a mega rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, said that he was giving an account of his work to people.
He told the gathering that being an MP from Uttar Pradesh he was a 'UP-walla' and wanted to seek their blessings as he recalled it was around this time two years ago that his government had taken oath.
"I have come to give an account of my work in the past two years. I am coming to you at a time when exactly at this time two years ago we were taking the oath of office. Governments come and go. Elections happen. But a government is formed to serve the masses. In the two years, people have seen our work. I had said earlier that my government is dedicated to the poor of this country," the PM said.
He also sought to trash the allegations of Congress and other Opposition parties which have said that nothing had been done during the two years of the NDA government.
"The country is changing but the mindset of some of the people is not changing," the PM pointed out.
He said that the ratio of divisible resources between Centre and the states earlier was 65:35 which his government changed and now 65 percent of the share was going to the states.
Over Rs 2 lakh crore was given to panchayats, he said, underlining his government's 'commitment' to development of states and villages. Our endeavour has been to strengthen state governments. I have had the experience of being the CM of a state and so I decided that Centre will have 35 percent in their treasury and the rest will be part of state coffers," he said.
The Prime Minister repeatedly spoke of his 'pro-poor' and 'pro-farmer' schemes throughout his half-an-hour speech and took swipes at the previous Congress-led government by raising the issue of corruption and speaking of BJP's taint free governance.
"We have given importance to building schools, hospitals, roads and transforming lives of the poor. We want to ensure that our sugarcane farmers do not face any problems. When we had taken over the reins, the dues of sugarcane farmers ran up to Rs 14000 crore, which has come down to about Rs 700-800 crore now. I am warning the sugar mills, you won't be allowed to do injustice to the farmers," PM Modi said.
"Merely throwing crumbs at farmers is not our way of working. We are trying to solve the problems the farmers face," he asserted.
"We have taken a pledge that when the country celebrates 75 years of independence in 2022, we will double the income of farmers through implementation of various policies," he said and listed a host of schemes launched for their benefit like soil health card and crop insurance.
"We have given soil health card to farmers to improve fertility of land. Give farmers the right opportunity and see the wonders they can do We have started work to double the income of farmers by 2022. We brought 'Fasal Bima Yojana' for farmers," he said.
Flanked by Cabinet colleague Uninon Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP in-charge of UP Om Mathur and UP state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, PM Modi pointed out, "In the previous government it was fashionable to name schemes after communities and religious groups. But my government's schemes are meant for all 125 crore Indians who are my family. We are not driven by caste, creed or religion," and cited the example of 'Beti Badhao Beti Padhao', which he described as a scheme that aims to empower daughters of all communities.
"When I talk of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' I do that for daughters of every caste, class and religion. If India's girl child is not empowered how can the nation be?" PM Modi said, adding, "Swach Bharat is not for rich, it's for poor. It will stop them from falling ill."
"In the present government road construction is double than that of the previous government. I have decided to link villages with roads. Out of 18000 villages which had no electricity till the rule of the previous government, we have electrified 7000 in just 300 days of our government," he said.
Further enumerating the good work done by his government, PM Modi said, "Over one crore people have given up their LPG subsidy."
On tackling corruption, PM Modi said, "Two years back, you would remember that corruption was at its peak. Look at the newspapers and TV channels two years ago. I am now in the government and I am shocked how past governments have looted the country. Are governments installed to loot? I am here to end that culture. I want to ask you, have you heard of any news about our government looting even a rupee? Have even our critics managed to accuse us of corruption? Two years ago no one had the courage to come to the people and ask them for an opinion."
Meanwhile, PM Modi said with tongue in cheek, "Many people are minutely looking at my record. My work is being closely watched. I welcome this oversight. Governments must give account of every second."
The PM also announced that the retirement age of doctors would be raised to 65, whether in state or in Centre, so that "so they can serve poor for more years."
"Our Cabinet will take a decision this week to increase the retirement age of government doctors to 65," PM Modi said, adding, "I appeal to doctors to dedicate 12 days per year for free treatment to poor expecting mothers."
Asserting that India was growing at the fastest rate, PM Modi said only two years ago many thought the country had 'sunk'.
"They would say India has sunk and things cannot change. There was a mood of hopelessness while there is hope and enthusiasm today. Earlier there was a mood of unease, now it is about moving forward. We can progress only through development. Only development will take the country on the path of growth. I appeal to people to participate in this journey of development," he said towards the end of his speech.
PM Modi signed off with 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.