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In the penultimate Independence Day speech of his current term, Prime Ministeron Tuesday looked beyond the Lok Sabha polls due in April 2019 to give a call for building a “new India” by 2022.
If in his previous three speeches, the PM had announced such path-brea king steps as the abolition of the Planning Commission and schemes such as Startup India and Stand-Up India, Modi’s speech on Tuesday was devoid of new announcements except the launch of a website to honour gallantry award winners.
Instead, the PM focused on giving a report card of his government’s performance in the last three years and spelt out his vision of a “new India”. He indicated the lynchpins of his Lok Sabha campaign would be his government’s efforts at curbing corruption, building modern infrastructure, and delivering welfare.
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Modi said by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, he envisioned a country where each family would have a pucca house, electricity, and power supply; farmers would earn twice of what they get currently; the country would be free of terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption, and nepotism; and it would be clean and healthy.
The PM appealed to people to leave behind the “chalta hai” attitude, to think of “badal sakta hai”, or we can transform. Asking countrymen to take the “New India pledge and move ahead”, the PM quoted from scriptures: “If we don’t accomplish work within a stipulated time, we shall not be able to get the desired results.”
Modi asked people to replicate between 2017 and 2022 the resolve Indians showed from 1942 (Quit India Movement) to 1947. He said if Quit India’s slogan was “Bharat chhoro” today’s slogan should be “Bharat jodo”. ()