Prime Minister Narendra Modi had charmed the electorate across much of India with his promise of 'achhe din' or better days in the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign. Today, a year since he was sworn in, Modi claimed that the first year of his government has brought an end to 'bure din' or bad days of the last years of the UPA government characterised by corruption and nepotism.
He said those complaining about his government were 'dalal' or middlemen who had been active in Delhi's corridors of power in the last 60 years. "But I never promised better days for those involved in scams or people who have robbed the country," the PM said at a rally to launch his government and Bharatiya Janata Party's weeklong 'Jan Kalyan Parva' or the festival for people's welfare, from village Nagla Chandrabhan, the birthplace of Jan Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyaya in Mathura.
Much of the PM's speech focused on the work his government has done for the poor and farmers of India. 'Garib' and 'kisan', that is poor and farmers, featured over two dozen times during Modi's speech. The Opposition, particularly Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, has taken to criticising the Modi government as anti-farmer and pro-corporate. But Modi didn't mention the contentious amendments to the Land Act of 2013 even once.
In a reference to the Nehru-Gandhi family and UPA rule, Modi asked if they still read reports of corruption, nepotism, government run by remote control or scams involving a "son-in-law or a son" of a political leader? He said Delhi in the last six decades wasn't as much a power centre but of several power circle. "I have smashed hundreds of these power circles. There is now no place for middlemen in the corridors of power," he said.
The PM said he will run the country in a way that there will be more 'bad days' for the corrupt. Modi said he won't just be a 'pradhan mantri' but also 'pradhan sentry' to guard the coffers. Modi's was the first of 200 public rallies that BJP leaders will address across India mark the first year of the NDA government.
The PM spoke about e-auction of minerals, his government's pro-poor and pro-farmer policies like the Jan Dhan Yojana and soil card for farmers and said there was a need to ensure better irrigation and power supply for the agrarian sector. The PM said his government has taken several steps to ensure timely supply of fertilizers to farmers, and taken steps to revive urea manufacturing factories in Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni.
The PM also listed the reforms in employee provident fund, a minimum pension of Rs 1000 to 3.2 million people and an increase of eight times in foreign investment from Rs 3,000 crore in the last year of UPA to Rs 25,000 crore. Modi said it isn't the big industrialists but 60 million smaller entrepreneurs who gave jobs to 120 million people and how the Mudra Bank will help them get loans. "World Bank says a poor family spends Rs 7,000 on medicines each year," Modi said, reiterating the need for cleanliness to prevent disease.
The PM said Mahatma Gandhi, socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia and Upadhyaya have shaped Indian political discourse and 'poor' were at the centre of their philosophy. This is why, Modi said, he picked the 'Deendayal Dham', the birthplace of Upadhyaya, to share the one year achievements of his government.
The PM said 365 hours will prove to be insufficient if he were to talk about the achievements of his government in the last 365 days.