NEW DELHI: In a virtual election speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday projected himself as an impatient agent of change against the backdrop of “docile and inefficient” governance during the Congress-led UPA rule and promised housing, power, water, sanitation and healthcare + for all in his mission to take the country to new heights. ”People make senseless criticism against me. But whatever may be said, I want to publicly acknowledge that I am restless because several countries have marched ahead and I want to take the country ahead of them. I am impatient because children are still suffering from malnutrition. I am eager to provide quality of life and ease of living to countrymen. I am impatient to provide health coverage to each of the poor so that they can fight against diseases. I am eager because we have to lead knowledge-based fourth industrial revolution,” he said.
In the nearly 80-minute speech, Modi devoted much of his speech in presenting the report card of his government, highlighting that the country made fast progress in sectors like economy, defence and social justice. ”When 125 crore people move towards achieving a goal, there is nothing that cannot happen. In 2014, the people of the country did not just stop at forming the government. They moved together towards nation-building and are continuing to do so,” he said.
He also announced that the ambitious Prime Minister’s Jan Aarogya Abhiyan (PMJAA), dubbed “Modicare”, for health insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh each to 10 crore families, will be launched on September 25 on the 102nd birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the co-founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP’s predecessor.
?Making his last Independence Day address of his tenure to the nation ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Modi said there was “senseless” criticism against him but asserted he was impatient and restless to take the country ahead of many others which had overtaken India.
Quoting Tamil nationalist icon Subramania Bharti, Modi said in Tamil, “India will show the path to the world in ridding it of its problems.” Breaking his silence in the context of recent cases of rape and sexual exploitation in welfare homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Modi said there was a need to attack such a mindset by putting the fear of the law that had been made stringent. He said the law was supreme and no one could take it into their hands.
Reaffirming his mantra of “sabka saath, sabka vikas” (take everyone along, development for all), the Prime Minister said there would be no discrimination against any section and there would be no nepotism and favouritism.“I want to reiterate my pledges – housing for all, power for all, cooking (gas) for all, water for all, sanitation for all, skills for all, insurance for all, connectivity for all. We want to go ahead with these programmes. Modi turned poetic before winding up his nearly 80-minute speech, saying that the country’s fortunes were being transformed.“We have to make a new dawn and create a new India. We want to move ahead with the dream of reaching the crescendo of development.”Attacking the Congress but not by name, he said if a comparison was made of the speed of governance in the last four years, people would be surprised.If toilets were built at the speed of 2013, several decades would have gone to reach the present stage. Rural electrification would have taken two decades. Taking LPG connection to poor women would have taken 100 years. Generations would have gone to take optical fibre to its present levels. There are a lot of expectations, a lot of needs. The country is feeling a change in the last four years. There is new awareness, new enthusiasm.”
He said four times more rural houses had been built, there was a record number of mobile manufacturers, record number of aeroplanes had been procured and a record number of tractors sold.