New Delhi: Delivering an inspiring and 92-minutes long speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday touched upon a wide variety of subjects including abrogation of Article 370, terrorism, corruption, Jal Jeevan Mission, digital payments, agricultural reforms among others.
In a major step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced the creation of a new post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for better coordination among Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Speaking from the 17th-century Mughal monument, he also announced that his government will spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore on its ambitious 'Jal Jeevan Mission' to give access to piped potable water to every rural household by 2024.
In his sixth Independence Day speech today, Prime Minister Modi stressed on the need to accelerate efforts to eradicate corruption and said that his government is committed to ensuring honesty and transparency.
He also called on farmers, asking them to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides by at least 10-15 per cent to protect the fertility of the land.
With an aim to prevent environmental degradation, Modi also urged citizens to eliminate the use of single-use plastic and also suggested shopkeepers to provide eco-friendly bags to its customers.
The Prime Minister also gave a fresh push to digital transactions in the country, by emphasising on the motto of 'yes to digital payment, no to cash".
PM Modi also attacked Pakistan for "supporting and exporting" terrorism and called upon the world fight it jointly. "Terrorism is an attack on humanity and those who export terrorism must be condemned," he said without taking Pakistan's name.
While affirming that his government believed in solving problems and not prolonging them and removal of Article 370 was its example, the Prime Minister said that within 10 weeks of returning to power, his government took key decisions including passing bills on abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, ban on the practice of Triple Talaq and anti-terror laws to fulfil the aspirations of people.
He also announced that the government will invest a massive Rs 100 lakh crore on developing modern infrastructure and said that it will aid in nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion in the next five years.
Stressing on the need to accelerate efforts to eradicate corruption, the Prime Minister said that his government is committed to ensuring honesty and transparency.
Stating that with the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the spirit of "One Nation, One Constitution" has become a reality, Modi also called for democratic discussions on the idea of 'One Nation, One election'.
Encouraging family planning to prevent population explosion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there is a need to think whether one can fulfill aspirations and dreams of their children or not.
Asserting that making India a 5 trillion dollar economy is not difficult, he stated that making local products more attractive will boost India's credentials as an export hub and asserted that 'Zero Defect, Zero Effect' -- high-quality products which are eco-friendly -- will be the guiding principle in this process.
Outlining that achievements of India are being recognized abroad, Modi lauded the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the successful launch of India's indigenous moon mission- Chandrayaan 2.
Later, while exiting the central well of Red Fort through the Lahore Gate, Prime Minister Modi's cavalcade drove straight to the area where school children were sitting.
Getting up and close with Modi, children enthusiastically grabbed Prime Minister Modi's hand, shaking it thoroughly as SPG guards struggled to maintain order around the Prime Minister.