Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday highlighted his government’s achievements in the seven years in which it has been in power, saying that India was on the “right track” and that it did not work as per the “thoughts and pressures” of other nations, but according to its own “resolve”.
In his monthly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat, which coincided with the seventh anniversary of the Modi government at the Centre, the Prime Minister said India has made strides in several areas — from water and electricity connections in rural households to digital transactions.
“All this was possible because in these 7 years, more than as the Government or as the people, we worked together as one country. We worked as a team. We worked as Team India,” he said, adding that his government has worked on the principle of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was re-elected to power at the Centre in May 2019 with a clear majority of 303 seats, improving its 2014 performance of 282 in the Lok Sabha. The BJP decided to tone down celebrations on the completion of the NDA government’s seven years on Sunday, but asked party leaders to reach out to people in their local areas amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
PM Modi invoked national security — which the BJP-led government says is one of the key areas it has taken a tough stand in — and said that India has followed its “own conviction”. The country did not give in to”thoughts and pressures” of others, and its armed forces gave a “befitting” reply to those who “conspire” against it, he said.
“Together, we have experienced many moments of national pride in these years. When we observe that now India moves ahead not with the thought and pressure of other countries but with her own conviction, then we all feel proud. When we witness that now India gives a befitting reply to those who conspire against us, then our confidence soars. When India does not compromise on the issues of national security, when the strength of our armed forces increases, we feel that yes, we are on the right path,” he said.
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He said the government has been successful in resolving age-old conflicts. “In these 7 years, many old contestations of the country have also been resolved with complete peace and harmony. A new confidence of peace and development has arisen, from the Northeast to Kashmir.”
Modi conceded that along with successes, there were also “trials” and that the country has “overcome many difficult tests”.
Speaking of contributions made by people in the trying times of a pandemic raging in the country, the PM said the first wave of Covid-19 infections was a “war” that was fought with “total courage”.
“This time too (2nd wave) India will be victorious in the fight against Covid-19… In these 7 years, together we have seen many tough times together but each time we all came out stronger,” he said, adding that the pandemic was a challenge that has gripped the entire world, including big countries.
In recent weeks, opposition parties across the country have lashed out at the central government for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a resurgence of cases March onwards, propelled by a complete re-opening of activities, lack of adherence to social distancing norms and more transmissible virus variants. Political parties and state governments have also criticised the government for what they allege is a mismanaged nationwide inoculation drive, with several regions now reporting a shortage of vaccine doses.
“You need the right intention, policy and determination to fight Corona (Covid-19) and not just a pointless talk once in a month,” senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi on Sunday.
In the 77th edition of his radio address, the Prime Minister lauded the agriculture sector for record produce despite the outbreak. “The agricultural sector protected itself from this attack to a great extent. Not only did it keep itself safe, but the sector also progressed, moving forward,” he said, referring to the resilience of the farm economy.
India’s agriculture sector, which employs nearly half the country’s working population, appears to have been unscathed during the second wave, just as it was during the first outbreak in 2020. The country is projected to produce a record 304 million tonne of foodgrains in 2020-21, 2.66% more than the previous year, according to one of the annual projections by the government released last week.