PM Modi slams Congress over its governance record

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday criticised the Congress, questioning it on its record in governance and scams that erupted before the 2014 general election. PTI reports from Manila said the PM made the remarks while addressing the Indian diaspora in the Philippines capital. He went on to say that no matter what happens, he will transform the country for the better.

Hinting at the success of the government’s key financial measures, demonetisation and GST, Mr Modi was quoted in reports from Manila as saying: “Before 2014, people used to ask how much money went… in the coal scam, 2G scam… but after 2014, people ask how much money came in”.

He asked Indians to work hard to ensure that the 21st century belongs to India and said his government was making every effort to transform the country and take it to new heights. Addressing the Indian diaspora in Manila, Mr Modi said there might be difficulties, but no one could stop India from achieving new heights. “Our efforts are aimed at transforming India and ensuring everything in our nation matches global standards,” he said in his nearly 35-minute speech.

Noting that the 21st century was described as Asia’s century, Mr Modi told the cheering audience that it was the duty of every Indian to work hard to make it India’s century. “I say it is possible,” Mr Modi asserted.

The PM said India had always contributed to world peace and over 1.25 lakh Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace in the two world wars.

“Our contingent in the UN Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest. India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peace is integral to our culture,” he said, highlighting India’s contribution to the world peace. Mr Modi also lauded some of his government’s initiatives such as Swachchh Bharat, Jan Dhan Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana. “Which Indian doesn’t want cleanliness? We have started from where Mahatma Gandhi left and till now over 2.25 lakh villages in India have become open defecation-free,” he said.

Stating that getting a LPG connection once used to be a big achievement, Mr Modi said his government has provided free LPG connections to more than 3.5 crore families in over three years.

Visiting the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, an urban locality 65 km from Manila, Mr Modi also contributed two Indian rice seed varieties to the gene bank of the international rice research centre, which he said was working towards mitigating global poverty and hunger by improving the cultivation of the grain. He also interacted with a large number of Indian scientists working there.

A “rice field laboratory” named after Mr Modi was also inaugurated by him at the institute. He unveiled a plaque marking the inauguration of the Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory. “A contribution from India to IRRI… Presented two Indian rice seed varieties to the IRRI gene bank,” the PM tweeted.

Mr Modi also visited a philanthropist organisation in the Philippines that provides free Indian-made prosthesis “Jaipur Foot” to needy amputees and donated $200,000 for its activities. The Mahaveer Philippine Foundation, a long-running humanitarian cooperation programme between India and the Philippines, was set up by highly-regarded Indian-origin Manila mayor Ramon Bagatsing in 1985. The foundation has been instrumental in the fitting of the “Jaipur Foot” to needy amputees. About 757 amputees benefited from the programme this year.

“Wonderful visit to Mahaveer Philippine Foundation. Their efforts of fitting the Jaipur Foot on needy amputees have touched several lives. During my visit, saw a series of exhibits and interacted with amputees,” Mr Modi tweeted.