Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day 2018 Speech from the ramparts of Red Fort today turned out to be the perfect pitch for the impending 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The traditional August 15th speech by PM Modi was a blend of political swipes, listing out of the government’s achievements, and above all, an assertion of how his tenure stands out from the erstwhile dispensations. Since the speech was the final one on I-Day before the general elections, PM Modi made sure that the speech had a consistent political undertone.
Full blown attack on Congress
With Rahul Gandhi present in the audience, PM Modi chose the Red Fort podium to launch a tirade against the BJP’s primary opponent Congress. Without naming the party, the Prime Minister slammed Congress by drawing comparisons between the growth process undertaken by his government to that of Congress-led UPA. “We are very proud of what we have achieved but at the same time, we also have to look at where we have come from. That is when we will realize the unbelievable strides the nation has taken. If we had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being constructed in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening in 2013, then it would have taken us decades to complete these tasks,” PM Modi said in his speech.
Here is what PM Modi has said during Independence Day speech at Red Fort
The Prime Minister also harped back on the allegations of corruption against the Congress government and said the nation was today celebrating the festival of honesty. He also referred to the Congress’ stand on One Rank One Pension and questioned the party on delaying the matter. Reaching out to Muslim women, the PM also flagged the role of the Congress in obstructing the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha and promised that to resolve the issue.
OBC voters, a key target
PM Modi, who sat on a fast along with his fellow BJP MPs in April following disruptions that saw a complete washout of the second leg of Budget Session, has lauded the way the Monsoon Session Parliament functioned. With an aim to woo the OBC voters, he said that the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament was one devoted to social justice. “The Parliament session witnessed the passage of the bill to create an OBC Commission,” PM Modi said in his Independence Day speech. PM Modi also lauded tribal youths from Maharashtra who had scaled the Mount Everest earlier this year.
Transparent and corruption-free governance
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections PM Modi had emphasized on the promise of good governance. He reiterated his stance today. “In today’s India, there is no place for nepotism. We have ensured environmental clearances are done transparently,” PM Modi said. Continuing his “war” against black-money, PM Modi said, “We will not forgive the corrupt and those who have black money. They have ruined the nation. Delhi’s streets are free from power brokers. From the voice of power brokers, the voice of the poor is heard.”
Government stands by women
From triple talaq to services, PM Modi pledged that his government would stand firmly by women. While he talked about the bane of triple talaq, PM Modi sent a tough message on the incidents of rapes in the country. “We have to free our society and country from this disgusting mentality of rape,” PM Modi said. In a bid to gain confidence working women, PM Modi said, “Women officers commissioned in short service will get the opportunity for a permanent commission like their male counterparts.”
Focus on North-east
Modi today laid adequate focus on north-eastern states in line with the BJP’s stance. “There was a time when North East India used to feel that Delhi is very far from them, but today we have brought Delhi to the doorstep of the North East,” PM Modi said. He also asserted that Tripura and Meghalaya and many parts of Arunachal Pradesh are seeing historic peace. “From 126, Left Wing Extremism is restricted to 90 districts. We are working to ensure peace across the nation,” said PM Modi.
With nationalism set to be at the heart of Modi’s campaign going into 2019 polls, the PM said that his govenrment would follow the path shown by party veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Kashmir. Talking about significance of elections in Kashmir, PM Modi today said panchayat elections will be held in the Valley soon and people will the chance to exercise their rights. PM Modi also assured that his government won’t persue the path of ‘goli aur gaali’ (guns and abuses), instead, it will take forward the state by embracing Kashmiris.
Aam Aadmi, farmers and traders
Political arithmetic in India clearly indicates that a political party which enjoys the support of commoners (Aam Aadmi) and farmers, has the upper edge in the elections. To gain a favourable mandate, PM Modi has announced a health scheme named ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan’. The scheme will be launched on September 25 this year. “It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable health care,” PM Modi said, adding 10 crore families will get Rs 5 lakh. He also said that employment will be created through this scheme and hospitals will be built in every tier 2, tier 3 cities.
For an agrarian society, he said, “The demand for higher MSP was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. With the blessings of the farmers, the decision on MSP was taken by our Government”.
For traders, he reiterated that GST was a real solution to every problem. “Who did not want the GST to be passed, yet it was pending for years. Last year GST became a reality. I want to thank the business community for the success of the GST,” PM Modi said.