A day after the Lok Sabha passed the constitutional amendment Bill to facilitate 10 per cent quota for the economically poor among the general category, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed the development as historic for Independent India.
Modi observed that the Bill seeks to address the economic inequality that had seeped in during the 70 years of Independence and would provide benefits to the poor among the general category of citizens.
“Lakhs of youth of the general category would get job opportunities in government and public sector, so that poverty does not hold them back from progress,” Modi said addressing a public meeting at Kothi Meena Bazaar in Agra during his second visit to the Taj City as the PM.
Meanwhile, he also thanked the Members of Parliament (MP), who had voted in its favour in Lok Sabha. However, Modi cautioned against alleged rumours and misinformation campaign by vested interests across social media and other platforms to divide the society.
“The opposition parties are claiming that the Bill was introduced with an eye on the Lok Sabha election. But, the country witnesses elections every six months. If I had introduced it last year, the opposition would have alleged we were aiming at the Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh elections. Earlier, there were elections in Karanataka,” he added.
Modi further reiterated his stand of holding Parliament and state elections simultaneously to save on money, time and effort, and better governance.
Meanwhile, the PM attacked the opposition over the issue of corruption saying the leaders who did not see eye to eye, were coming together to dislodge him from power.
“These leaders do not care about the country, but are only interested in keeping the ‘chaukidaar’ at bay, so that their misdeeds are not exposed and they are not held accountable,” he added.
In an oblique reference to the proposed Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said the parties who indulged in public loot and corruption in mining had joined hands, disregarding bitter past incidents.
He referred to Lucknow’s state guest house incident, in which now BSP president Mayawati was attacked by SP leaders. She had then avowed never to ally with SP in future, although recently Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh had met at New Delhi to discuss their pre-poll alliance to fight BJP jointly.
Yadav is on the CBI radar over his alleged role in UP sand mining scam during his tenure as the UP CM (2012-17). The opposition has slammed the CBI action as vendetta in run up to the Lok Sabha poll.
Meanwhile, Modi launched developmental projects, including Gangajal project totalling more than Rs 3,500 crore. Gangajal programme alone is worth Rs 2,880 crore and it would provide Agra with cleaner water supply.