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PM highlights India's democracy, development at UNGA


Underlining the strength of India's democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at the UNGA on Friday said that people of the country have given him and his government a strong mandate in the "world's biggest election."
"It a great honour for me to address the 74th UNGA session on behalf of 130 crore Indians. It is even more special occasion because this year the entire world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. His message of truth and non-violence is very relevant for us even today," Prime Minister said as he began his address at the 74th UNGA session.
"This year, the world's biggest election took place. In the world's biggest election, the highest number of people in the world voted to give a stronger mandate to me and my government. And it is because of this mandate that I am here. But the message of this mandate is even bigger and more inspiring," the Prime Minister said referring to Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year.
The Prime Minister then went on to mention several developmental schemes that his government has launched, saying that the systems created out of the successful implementation of these schemes would inspire the world.
"When a developing country conducts the world's biggest sanitation campaign successfully, constructs 11 crore toilets for its countrymen, then the systems that come out of it give an inspiring message to the world," PM Modi said referring to the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" under which the government aims to make the country open defecation free. The scheme was launched in 2014.
Making a reference to the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the Prime Minister said, "When a developing country, runs a successful health insurance scheme, provides free treatment for 50 crore people up to a cost of Rs 5 lakh every year, then the systems which come out of it shows a new way to the world."
PM Modi also mentioned the Financial Inclusion scheme and said that 37 crore bank accounts have been opened for poor people in the last five years.
"When a developing country runs world's biggest Financial Inclusion programme, opens 37 crore bank accounts for the poor people just in five years, then the systems created due to it, give faith to poor people across the world," he said.
This was the Prime Minister's maiden speech at the UN General Assembly after assuming office for the second term. He had last addressed the gathering four years ago, with former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj representing India at the world body during the interim years.
The 69th session of the UNGA had witnessed the Indian Prime Minister calling for the early adaptation of the Comprehensive Convention on Global Terrorism, highlighting that it was a matter that had been pending for long. He had made it clear that India wanted to pursue bilateral talks with Pakistan in an environment of peace, free from the shadow of terror.
Modi's address at the UN comes on the final day of his week-long visit to the US. The leader had a packed agenda of bilaterals amongst other engagements, beginning with the mega "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston event that witnessed him sharing the stage with US President Donald Trump before a crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 8:30 PM IST

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