Panaji: “Achche din” (good days) may not really be on the immediate horizon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday warned of “tough decisions” and “bitter medicine” to set India’s ailing economy right.
Modi, who was addressing a meeting of party workers in Goa, also sought support from the people of India to help him take those difficult decisions, which he said are the “need of the hour”.
“We will have to take tough and bitter financial decisions to put the country on the path to good fiscal health,” Modi said, adding that financial prudence was top priority.
The prime minister said he had inherited a “bankrupt and hollow” economy from the erstwhile government and its quick repair was imperative.
He gave the analogy of how a mother cares for her sick child to underline his point.
“However loving the child is, the mother has to administer bitter medicine to cure him,” said Modi, warning of tough times ahead.
This is in sharp contrast to the “Achche din aane wale hain” (Good days are round the corner) slogan which the BJP had peppered liberally in its campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election in which the party won an unprecedented majority.
Modi said he was pleasantly surprised by the energy and enterprise shown by the bureaucrats he had interacted with, especially when there was virtually no governance for 10 years.
“For 10 years, there was no governance. Now I have to set things right,” he said.
“The bureaucrats I have met want to do something for the country. All you have to do is give them the incentive and freedom to work,” he said.
Modi also exhorted BJP workers to work and take decisions which lead to the betterment of the nation, even at the cost of the party.
He also announced the Sagar Mala project, which involves inter-linkage of coastal states via road and rail.
Commenting on Goa-related issues, the prime minister said he had asked all ministries concerned to put in extra efforts to resolve Goa’s mining imbroglio and said the state should work towards excelling in tourism so the country earns crucial foreign exchange.
Over 8,000 party workers attended the meeting along with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, two Lok Sabha MPs Shripad Naik and Narendra Savoikar and state party president Vinay Tendulkar.
Modi later formally set the ball rolling for the construction of a new bridge across the Mandovi river off Panaji.
He is also expected to interact with especially invited members of civil society, intellectuals and business persons at a city resort later in the evening.
Earlier in the day, Modi spent several hours on board the Indian Navy’s biggest vessel INS Vikramaditya where he witnessed naval exercises.