Modi sets tone for 2024 election in I-Day speech

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The PM gave the people "Modi ki guarantee" that the country will become the third largest economy in the next five years

Addressing countrymen from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday appealed for peace in strife-torn Manipur (Twitter)

New Delhi: In his 10th consecutive speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort to his "beloved 140 crore parivarjan (family members)", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed issues including Manipur, the "three evils" of corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement, India’s global resurgence. The PM gave the people "Modi ki guarantee" that the country will become the third largest economy in the next five years.

The PM, in his last speech from the Red Fort before the general elections, sounded confident that the BJP-led NDA government will retain power at the Centre again. He promised that next year, on August 15, he will "list out the progress achieved by the nation yet again".

The Opposition termed the PM’s speech a "crass election speech filled with distortions, lies, exaggerations and vague promises."

In a major outreach to members of the OBC communities ahead of the string of state Assembly elections and the Lok Sabha polls, Modi announced a mega scheme — the Vishwakarma Yojana, with an outlay of `13,000 to `15,000 crores to boost livelihood opportunities for people engaged in traditional skills, including carpenters, masons and goldsmiths. The scheme, mainly benefiting people belonging to the OBC category, will be launched on Vishwakarma Jayanti, which falls on September 17.

Urging countrymen to promote "suchita, pardarshita and nishpakshta" (probity, transparency and impartiality) in every sphere, Modi warned them against dynastic parties that worked with the mantra of "by the family, of the family and for the family" in a clear re-election bid ahead of the polls.

Asserting that the next five years are going to be a period of unprecedented development and will prove to be a golden period in realising the dream of a developed India by 2047, the PM gave "Modi ki guarantee" that the country will become the third largest economy in the next five years.

Without naming any political party, Modi said corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement said these perversions had become such a part of the system over the decades that people began ignoring them. Perversions like corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement have become such a part of the system over the decades that people have begun ignoring them.

"We have to look these evils in the eye and wage a war against them. We can't tolerate corruption in any form to realise the dream of a developed nation," said the PM.

Emphasising the importance of the next five years, Modi said everything done in this "Amrit Kaal" will have an impact on the next 1,000 years. "Today we have demography, today we have democracy and today we have diversity. This triveni (three factors) has the potential to make every dream of India come true," he said.

Asserting that his lifelong commitment is to fight against corruption, Modi also said that nepotism has snatched "the rights of our citizens and appeasement has inflicted the biggest harm on social justice and is a blot on our national character".

In contrast, under his government, a "new India" brimming with self-confidence and dedicated to fulfilling people's resolves has emerged, he said in his 90-minute address to the nation from the Red Fort.

"On the next August 15, I will speak to you from Red Fort with more self-confidence about the country's achievements, the successes of your capabilities and the progress made in fulfilling your resolutions," he said amid applause from members of the over 2,000-strong audience gathered to celebrate the 77th Independence Day.

Contrasting his over nine years at the helm with the dispensations before, he said people put an end to the era of uncertainty and instability and freed the country of political shackles by electing a stable, strong and full majority government in 2014.

Whatever India has achieved is a guarantee of global stability, he said, adding, "As a new world order emerged after World War 2, I can clearly see a new world order; a new geopolitical equation is fast taking shape after Covid-19. I can see the strength of 140-crore Indians in shaping the changing world. You are at a decisive turning point."

"My family members, I have come from amongst you. I live for you," the PM said, adding that India had received the opportunity to host the G-20 summit and in the past year, the manner in which several events of the G-20 were held in every corner of the country has made the world aware of the capability of India's common man and India's diversity.

Noting that this is the new India, a self-confident India, an India filled with determination to make its commitments meaningful, Modi said, "Yeh Bharat na rukta hai, yeh Bharat na thakta hai, yeh Bharat na haanfta hai, aur na hi yeh Bharat haarta hai (India does not stop, India does not tire, India does not falter, and India does not lose)."

The Prime Minister also recited a poem on the government led by him and its governance.

"Chalta chalata kaalchakra, Amrit kaal ka bhaalchakra, Sabke sapne, apne sapne, Panpe sapne saare, dheer chale, veer chale, chale yuva humaare, Neeti sahi reeti nayi, gati sahi raah nayi, Chuno chunauti seena taan, jag mein badhao desh ka naam," the PM recited.

Among those who attended the Red Fort event were Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Anurag Thakur, Hardeep Singh Puri and Smriti Irani. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena also attended the event. The G-20 logo was part of the floral decorations at Red Fort.

After his speech, the PM went to the enclosures schoolchildren, NCC cadets and special invitees were seated and interacted with them.