Looking back on one year into the second term of the NDA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi drafted a letter to the people India on 30 May, 2020.
In his letter, PM Modi addressed the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on India, especially migrant workers who have been forced to walk thousands of kilometres back home due to inadequate arrangements made by the Centre and State governments.
“In this crisis, no one can claim that nobody has been put to trouble or inconvenience. Our workers, migrant brother and sister labourers, those working in small industries, cart pushers and vendors, our shopkeeper brothers and sisters and those having small businesses have suffered immensely. We all are working together in an attempt to sort out their problems.”PM Narendra Modi in a letter
One must ensure that inconveniences do not devolve into disasters, he further cautioned. Comparing India’s strategy in dealing with the pandemic, PM Modi stated that people of India have proven that our collective capability and capacity are unprecedented in comparison with other more resourceful and prosperous countries.
“On the one hand, there are countries with massive economies and most modern health services, and on the other, there is India with its huge population and so many challenges. Many people had expressed their apprehensions that when corona would attack India, the country itself would become a trouble for the world. Today, all countrymen have changed the way they look at India.”PM Narendra Modi in a letter
Focusing on the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India campaign, PM Modi stated that the economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore is a big step towards ushering in a new trend.
“This campaign will usher in a new trend of opportunities for every countryman – our farmers, workers and labourers, medium enterprises and the youth associated with startups. India will reduce its dependence on imports with the sweat of its citizens, with their hard work and skills, thus becoming self-dependent.”
One Year of NDA 2.0: A Recap
Listing out the achievements of the NDA government between 2014 and 2019, PM Modi recounted that his government has raised the dignity of the poor by opening bank accounts, making free cooking gas and electricity available and building toilets.
Furthermore, government also conducted surgical strikes across the border, worked on one-rank-one-pension, GST and fulfilled decades old demands involving procurement of crops under MSP for farmers, he added.
Listing out the important decisions taken by his government, PM Modi wrote,
“Whether it was the topic of Article 370 for national unity and integrity, or the happy outcome of age-old conflict over the Ram temple construction, or the factor disrupting the modern social system, the 'triple talaq' or the symbol of India's compassion, the citizenship law – all these achievements you remember.”
“Priority Has been to Empower Poor, Farmers, Women, Youth”
Stating that his government’s priority has been to empower the poor, farmers, women and the youth of the country, PM Modi wrote that today, each farmer has been covered under the PM Kisan Samman. In the last one year, under this scheme, over Rs 72,000 crore have been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 9.5 crore farmers, he claimed.
“For the first time in the nation's history, the government has decided to offer the facility of Rs 3,000 monthly pension for farmers, farm labourers, small shopkeepers and workers belonging to the unorganized sector after the age of 60 years,” he added.
Stating that the government has formed a separate department to increase facilities provided to fishermen, the Prime Minister added that the government has decided to constitute a National Traders Board for timely resolution of issues concerning business enterprises.
Women’s self help groups too have received financial assistance, he claimed.
“About 7 crore sisters associated with self-help groups have been given more financial assistance. Recently, the loan amount available without guarantee for self-help groups has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh.”PM Narendra Modi in a letter
Amit Shah Takes a Dig at Congress
Union Home minister Amit Shah took a dig at the Congress while responding to the Prime Minister’s letter. Amit Shah stated that “Modi ji has not only rectified many historical mistakes during these six years but has also laid the foundation of a self-reliant India moving on the development path by bridging the gap of 6 decades.”
BJP president JP Nadda congratulated PM Modi on behalf of all BJP workers across the country. He added that, “This year of Modi ji’s government is full of many achievements.”
“With visionary policies, devotion and strengthening the spirit of Team India, respected Modi ji gave a new direction to the democracy of the country. The spirit of public interest, the longing for the interests of the country and the will to improve the life of the person standing at the end, is seen in every decision of the government.”JP Nadda, BJP President
'Fraying of Bonds of Empathy’: Oppositions Hits Out at Modi.2.0.1
Several opposition leaders also took the opportunity to attack the Modi government, especially on the handling of the Coronavirus crisis.
Congress leader KC Venugopal said, “Six years of Modi govt saw fraying of bonds of empathy, fraternity and brotherhood with rise in communal, sectarian violence: Congress.”
The Congress also highlighted the failure of the government on the economic front and said that the Prime Minister announced two crore jobs whereas India witnessed the highest unemployment rate in the last 45 years.
BSP chief Mayawati wrote in Hindi on Twitter, “Several claims have been made today as the BJP government completes one year at the Centre but they shouldn’t lose touch with ground realities. This government has faced multiple controversies. They should introspect about these issues in the interest of the nation.”