As the Modi government completed three years in office on Friday, it received both ovation and opprobrium, with the opposition accusing it of bringing the country to “the verge of strife” through “divisive” politics and the BJP insisting it laid the foundation for a “new India”.
Prime Minister Modi received praise from President Pranab Mukherjee, who called him one of the “most effective communicators”. Mukherjee also lauded Modi for giving a “new direction” to India’s economy.
Modi took to microblogging website Twitter to claim in the three years that his government has been in power, it took “concrete” steps that “transformed” the lives of people.
“Sath hai, vishwas hai, ho raha vikas hai (There is cooperation, there is confidence and progress is being made),” the prime minister tweeted.“Last 3 years have seen concrete steps that have transformed people’s lives,” said in another tweet.
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Along with the tweets, he posted graphics related to various sectors like agriculture, mobile banking, tele-density, women empowerment, ‘Make-in-India’, tourism, electrification, solar energy and distribution of LED bulbs.
Referring to ‘Make-in-India’, the graphic said that there has been a ‘giant boost’ to investments in electronic manufacturing.
BJP chief Amit Shah said, with Modi at the helm of affairs, “The authority of the prime minister’s office has been restored.”
The BJP leader said India’s self-confidence, pride and scale of ambition grew manifold in three years of the Modi government.
India, he said, became the fastest growing major economy in the world after the government took a slew of measures, including economic reform, which tamed inflation and boosted GDP.
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Drawing a contrast between the 10-year UPA rule and the Modi government, Shah said the former was marked by a scam almost every month, while even the rivals of the BJP-led dispensation have not been able to level a single charge of corruption against it.
Taking a swipe at the UPA, he said every minister was a prime minister in its government, while nobody took the real prime minister seriously.
However, the opposition would have none of it.
Leaders of 17 opposition parties congregated for a luncheon meet hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and tore into the good governance claim of Modi backers.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi attacked the Modi government, saying it had “failed to deliver” and instead “divided and distracted” people.
“When they fail to deliver they divide and distract. But anger and hatred will not convert into jobs or solutions,” he tweeted.
The Congress demanded a white paper on the government’s employment strategy.Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath said the hallmark of the Modi government in the last three years has been “bravado, rhetoric and hyperbole”.
“The future of this country is dark from the economic point of view and from the social point of view. The country had never been so undivided. The country is on the verge of seeing strife in the future,” he said.
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a strident Modi critic, told journalists after the opposition meeting that all parties criticised the government’s handling of Kashmir, caste clashes in Saharanpur, demonetisation and incidents of cow vigilantism.
JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad said the government had “failed on all fronts”.
“Modi has failed on all fronts. He has been successful only on one front and that is that the Pakistan flag is fluttering in Jammu and Kashmir,” Lalu said.CPI’s D Raja asked “What is there to celebrate?”, adding the government was a “failure”.
As the opposition leaders poured scorn on Modi and his government, president Mukherjee said,” No doubt in the contemporary period, prime minister Modi is one of the most effective communicators and perhaps can be compared with other illustrious prime ministers like pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi who communicated on their principle, on their ideas accepting the parliamentary form of government and particularly to have a secular Constitution.”
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“Indian economy is moving steadfast. The prime minister has given a new direction, no doubt. Various initiatives which he has taken clearly indicates the onward movement of India,” Mukherjee said at a book release function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Addressing a press conference, Amit Shah said the Modi government had laid the foundation of a “new India” and described it as a decisive and transparent dispensation which had achieved what past governments could not.
“In 2014, the BJP replaced a government suffering from policy paralysis and gave people a decisive and transparent government,” Shah said.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also acknowledged the achievements of Modi, but said Kashmir remained a “dark blot” for him.
“PM Modi has many achievements to boast of after 3 years and it would be petty to deny them but J&K remains a dark blot that’s getting darker,” Omar wrote on Twitter.