Modi is at pains to dispel image he is not pro-poor

Bengaluru :  A combative and aggressive Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Friday said he and his government had toiled hard to keep the ten months of governance spotless and scam-free. This has ushered in an era of hope and dispelled the clouds of despair and gloom, he added, while stating that the new land bill will be tweaked to empower the farmers further.

Addressing the first two-day national executive committee meeting after he assumed power, Modi brought to fore his oratory skills in taking on the Congress. “There was an atmosphere of disappointment for years. If you happened to open the newspapers or watch TV, there was news of one scam or the other. You (will) recall there used to be a sense of despondency: every day a new scam and the youth was disheartened,” he said.

While Modi took on the Congress by making the oblique references, party president Amit Shah was more direct and blistering in his attack.   In his presidential address, he asked the Congress to first go and find where their leader (Rahul Gandhi) was hiding, instead to trying to find non-existing faults with the NDA government.

“The Opposition is desperate, hopeless and directionless. They should stop finding faults and shortcomings which do not exist. If they have to find something, then they should try to find their leader,’’ Shah said.

While Shah took on the Congress, Modi projected the good work done by his government. “The world had turned away from India. The world had changed the way they perceived India. It was as if India has lost the ability to script a new future, India has lost its way,” Modi said, highlighting the various schemes he had initiated.   “We will fulfill your hopes and aspirations. From my 10-month experience I can tell you there is no reason why India must stay behind,” Modi told top leaders of the party.

Trying to dispel the image that he was not pro-poor, an emotional Modi said he personally knew and experienced the pangs of poverty. “I know what it is to be poor,” he said, directing a barb at the Congress leadership.

Dismissing the charge that he has been slow in ushering change and that nothing substantial has taken place under his rule, he said, “You have given the BJP a chance to rule the nation and I assure you that we will fulfill all the promises made and the hopes of the nation”. “Our Niyat is clean. And we want to take the Nation ahead,” he added.

Later, addressing a massive rally here, Modi said the new Land Acquisition Bill would be “reformed” for farmers” benefit and attacked the opposition for “spreading lies” that the government is working against the interests of the farming community.   “We are working to empower the farmers and the Opposition is in only spreading canards. My government is working to empower the farmers as we know that our nation cannot make progress till villages develop,” he said.

Contending that he had lived among the farmers, Modi said he could understand their plight and was working with “good intention” to address their woes.   “How did farmers lose their land? Where did it go? To get a job of a peon for their children or to make them a driver, they were compelled to sell their land to pay bribes. The (previous) governments compelled them to (sell land),” the Prime Minister said.   “Land records will be reformed so that farmers get back their land (which they lost). For this, we will launch a big campaign,” he said.

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