New Delhi: Moving a step further to his monthly “Mann ki Baat” programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time on Saturday interacted with citizens in the Obama-style Town Hall meeting at the indoor Indira Gandhi Stadium complex here, answering questions posed through video-conferencing by the people from across the country and even from abroad.
The event marks two years of MyGov, the government”s citizen engagement platform. Modi launched on the occasion PMO mobile App, developed by pooling the citizens” idea, hoping that the new App will allow the mobile users to connect with the website of the Prime Minister”s Office to convey the ideas that can help the nation. The youth who developed the PMO mobile App was called on stage for felicitation by Modi.
The Town Hall concept popularised by US President Barack Obama is commonly used in the west among politicians for direct interaction with the people.
The Prime Minister took to answering questions, three at a time, asked by people sitting in their homes after the gathering was addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and awards were presented to all those who have contributed in helping the country with ideas and in many ways.
He laid stress on the people to become active on every front to tackle the issues concerning the nation as he said the Prime Minister cannot be held responsible for what happens at every level in India, but the people can make use of the grievance redressal system to strengthen the democracy. He said the Swachh Bharat is a prime example of citizens” participation in strengthening the democracy.
Most powerful thing in democracy is grievance redressal system, he said, adding that it is why every responsible person holding a position in the government should be questioned if the people should easily get what they want.
Modi warned that if democracy is limited to voting and choosing a government, then the spirit of democracy would not develop. He regretted that the good governance in India is bad politics as the governments usually starts thinking on how to win the next elections, pushing good governance to the back burner. He said his government keeps stressing good governance as it is essential for development of the country.
Pointing out that solution to most of the problems lies in good governance, he said the government is concerned over the apathy towards good governance, establishment of institutions, checks and balances, responsibility with accountability.
He said the government has taken few initiatives for good governance and pointed out when he raises one issue, it impacts the whole system.
“We want to develop good governance where processes are less and things get done easily for citizens,” he said, adding that “if you don”t focus on good governance then the benefits won”t reach the common citizens.”