Cuttack: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday affirmed his government’s commitment against corruption and said the nation had moved from black money to people’s money and misrule to good governance in the last four years.
“The nation is moving from kala dhan (black money) to jan dhan (public wealth). It has moved from misrule to good governance," he said, while virtually launching the BJP’s campaign for next year’s general election at a public meeting at the Bali Jatra grounds here on the fourth anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
The government was committed to fighting corruption and its tough rules and laws against black money had sent “shivers down the spines of many, who have come on one platform", Modi said, in an oblique reference to opposition parties uniting against his government.
Describing the opposition unity as a “sham", he said arch rivals were coming together to save themselves. Four former chief ministers were jailed in connection with corruption cases, 3,000 raids were carried out by various agencies and unaccounted money amounting to Rs53,000 crore was unearthed, Modi said. A strict scrutiny by the Income Tax authorities had led to the recovery of Rs45,000 crore, while benami properties worth Rs3,500 crore were seized, he added. The registration of 2.26 lakh dubious and suspicious companies were cancelled, Modi said during his hour-long speech.
The NDA government was not afraid of taking tough decisions as it was not governed by confusion, he said, adding, “It is a government of commitment, not of confusion, and it has the strength to go for surgical strikes."
Asserting that his government had won the trust of 125 crore people of the country, Modi said, “From panchayat to Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged as a big force."
The fact that the party was in power in 20 states showed that the people had put their stamp of approval on the NDA government’s performance in the last four years, he added.
Stating that many leaders in the NDA had come from ordinary backgrounds and lived in poverty, Modi said they were concerned about the poor people.
“The president, the vice-president and the pradhan sevak (prime minister) -- all have lived in poverty," he said, adding that after witnessing the four years of the NDA government, the people now believed that the country could change.
Referring to the issues the country was facing four years ago, Modi said it was important to remember how much the (Nehru-Gandhi) “family", which had ruled the nation for 48 years, had cared for it.
He said the country was ruined and development could not reach the grassroot level due to the vote-bank politics practised by the Congress. “When we talk about their (Congress’s) vote-bank politics, they give it a communal colour," he added.
Claiming that the Congress was guided by dynastic rules, Modi said it was only bothered about power and not people’s welfare. “Policies and programmes were made by the past governments headed by it (Congress), keeping a particular section of the society in mind as vote banks were important for it," he added.
The country was rocked by scams involving lakhs of crores of rupees during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule and the government was being run with the help of a remote control, Modi said.
He said till 2014, 39% of the population had access to sanitation facilities and now, the figure was over 80%. Till 2014, there were around six crore toilets in the country, whereas in the last four years, 7.5 crore toilets were built, Modi said.
Till 2014, only 53% of the population had bank accounts in the country as the Congress never worked towards including the poor people into the banking network, he said, adding that now, over 80% of the people in the country had bank accounts.
There were only 13 crore LPG connections in the country till 2014, while the number had increased by 10 crore in the last four years, Modi said, adding that around four crore women were given LPG connections, 25 lakh of whom were in Odisha.
While the economy of the country was surging ahead rapidly, inflation was effectively controlled by the government, he said, adding that there was tremendous progress in expansion of highways, railways, airways and waterways as an amount of Rs1 lakh crore was earmarked for infrastructure in the budget.
Modi said the number of Naxal-hit districts in the country had come down from 126 to 90 due to the proactive policies of the government, which had paved the way for many of the rebels to give up arms and return to the social mainstream.
Stating that farmers had benefited in a big way during the NDA rule because of programmes like the Pradhan Mantri Sichai Yojana and the crop insurance scheme, he said the government was sincerely working towards doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
As many as 60 crore LED bulbs were distributed directly, reducing electricity bills by ₹ 40,000 crore, as the dream to electrifying every rural household was nearing fulfilment, Modi said, adding that the government had also distributed over 13 lakh soil health cards among the farmers.
The NDA government was implementing a special project to take development to even the remotest islands of the country and the first phase, covering 16 islands in the Andaman and Nicobar island group and 10 Lakshadweep islands, had already started, the prime minister said.