UPA govt resorted to lies to defend its scams, my govt acting against corrupt: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addresses the Summit for Democracy, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addresses the Summit for Democracy, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Wednesday that earlier people used to question why the CBI and the ED were not acting against powerful people, while now those powerful and corrupt are asking why the agencies are acting against them.

Modi's apparent swipe at opposition leaders at News18 group's 'Rising Bharat' summit came amid their allegations that his government had been using probe agencies to target them.

Modi recalled the Balakot airstrikes of 2019 and said that be it terror ringleaders or countries harbouring desire of development and peace, all have experienced "rising Bharat".

"This new India does not tolerate the wounds of terrorism and instead also teaches a lesson to those who are responsible for such wounds," Modi said.

People of the country and the world are witnessing the condition of those who used to give us wounds of terror attacks, Modi said, in an apparent swipe at Pakistan.

"A secure country is the basis of a developed country. This is the identity of India today and this is the rising India," he asserted.

Targeting the opposition, he said while his government is busy framing a roadmap for the next 25 years and plan for the first 100 days of its third term, the opposition has just heaped its "104th" abuse on him.

He cited opposition leaders' remarks threatening him and likening him to Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, seen by many as a zealot.

It is all happening while the elections are on and every Indian should be proud of this massive festival of democracy involving 97 crore voters, the prime minister said.

Modi cited massive hauls of cash from leaders belonging to parties like the Congress and the Trinamool Congress and said his government's tough action against corruption has rattled them into abusing him.

These abuses will not make any difference, he said, asserting that he gets blessings from the poor who have been receiving all the benefits meant for them, unlike in the past when a huge chunk of welfare money used to be siphoned off.

Modi said there has been another big difference in the situation today from that of before 2014.

"The self confidence of the people of a country whose prestige is falling, cannot remain high. Before 2014 what was the situation, in every household corruption was a big issue and the country's prestige was falling. The then government used to be busy defending its scams by resorting to false narrative and lies," Modi said.

The government today is taking strong action, giving an account of that action and corrupt are lying in order to save themselves, he said.

"The country earlier used to ask why agencies are not acting against powerful people, now the powerful and corrupt are asking why agencies are taking action against them," he said.

"This change has come about in the last 10 years. This boils down to 'neeyat sahi, toh kaam sahi'," he said.

Action against corruption is his commitment, Modi asserted.

Corruption was high earlier as offices had become power centres instead of service centres, he said.

"The country has made up its mind," he said, referring to the slogan of "Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar".

He said more than Rs 34 lakh crore has been transferred to the beneficiaries of numerous welfare schemes over the last 10 years, adding that most of the amount would have been pocketed by the corrupt under the previous government, a reference to the Congress-led UPA dispensation during 2004-14.

The next five years would be of "unprecedented transformation, growth and expansion", he said, asserting that it is his guarantee.

While India was seen as an "additional weight" on an overloaded flight till 2014, it is now a passenger without whom the global flight cannot take off and will become the pilot in the next five years, he said.

India has no reason to be behind any country and people have to work with the "nation first" approach, he said, adding that it is this attitude which has powered the country's rise.

He cited the huge growth in India's exports, forex reserves and other development indicators to make his point.

Referring to the ongoing election process, Modi said the country being the mother of democracy, this exercise was a matter of pride for all its citizens.

"The whole world calls the 21st century India's century. All rating agencies and economists, intellectuals are assured about rising Bharat. They have no ifs or buts in their minds, why is it so?

"It is so because the whole world is seeing that in the last 10 years India has made big transformations," he said.

"What was the factor due to which this transformation was possible,“ it was 'neeyat' (intention). The intention of Nation First," he asserted.

Every poor of the country believes in 'Modi Ki Guarantee', the prime minister said.

He said that those who were earlier asked for guarantee to open a bank account, "Modi took the guarantee of all those people".

"Today Modi ki Guarantee has a positive effect...it does not need any advertisement, this is the guarantee that Modi took of poor," he added.

He said "the middle class was ignored" by the earlier government.

"In the last 10 years we have changed a lot...today Rs 7 lakh income is tax free, earlier Rs 2 lakh income was taxable. We have reduced home loan interest rate," he said.

"In the last 10 years, every day two new colleges were built and every week one university," he said.

"Jisko kisine nahi pucha, usko Modi ne puja hai (The ones who weren't cared for by anyone, are the ones who are worshipped by Modi)," the prime minister said.

"In the last 10 years, 25 crore people came out of poverty. This did not happen easily. We became 5th largest economy, our forex reserve is more than 700 billion dollars," he said.

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