PM presents report card ‘live’

NEW DELHI:Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his “report card” of two years at the helm of the NDA government in a five-and-a-half-hour television talkathon over the national broadcaster, Doordarshan, terming his government’s work as a the beginning of a “new dawn”, and the result of “keeping the interests of the common man front and centre.”

PM Narendra Modi speaks in the event organised to highlight his government's achievements, at India Gate in New Delhi on Saturday night. — Photo: PTI/TV grab

PM Narendra Modi speaks in the event organised to highlight his government’s achievements, at India Gate in New Delhi on Saturday night. — Photo: PTI/TV grab

From a special studio built for the occasion at Delhi’s India Gate, in a programme liberally sprinkled with celebri ties, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan, central ministers and corporate honchos like Malvinder Singh of pharma major Ranbaxy, Prime Minister Modi spoke about the general direction of his government and his strong measures to tackle graft across the board in the governmental system. “Those who were benefiting from corruption will, of course, be feeling the pain of it, but the money in the treasury of India is from the common man and I will not allow any one to loot it,” he said.

Refers to UPA scams
In a reference to the previous UPA government, he said, “The work of any government cannot be assessed with what went on before. In our case, if we look at the way coal blocks were auctioned, or even the way the direct benefit transfer scheme was implemented, we have managed to save more Rs 36,000 crore in pilferage within the system. We caught more than 1.62 crore fake ration cards, fake schools with teachers on their rolls receiving salaries,” Mr. Modi said.

“Facts like these, and the use of subsidised LED bulbs leading to a saving of over 20,000 MW of power every year do not make for headlines, but we must not allow a spirit of despondency to grip the nation. There are some who are compelled through politics to criticise, and they will continue to do so,” he said.

Sacrifice and savings
“There was time when headlines used to be made by increasing the number of subsidised cooking gas cyclinders from 9 to 12 and now my trust in the people has been amply rewarded by the fact that when I called on people to give up their gas subisdies, over one crore people did so on one call,” the Prime Minister said.

“My target is to provide five crore gas connections to those households which still rely on wood fired ovens for cooking,” Mr. Modi said.

“We have three years of this term left; I promise to work hard to justify the confidence placed on me by the people. I will not stint when it comes to hard work,” the Prime Minister said.

With Agencies