Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for taking a "long jump" towards building a new India by 2022 as he insisted on socio-economic transformation dominating the national discourse in the same way as independence did Mahatma Gandhi's talk.
Reaffirming his commitment to development, Modi stressed on ‘P2 G2’ (pro-people proactive good governance) agenda for the BJP and its governments in his address to the party's national executive during which he rejected the EVM row as another "unsustainable" product of "manufacturing factories" of opposition parties.
"Our aim should not be change of government but transformation of society," the Prime Minister said. He called for making India a happy and prosperous nation and a leading country in the world by 2022 for which the pace of progress needed to be quickened.
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"It's time for taking a long jump towards building a new India and rewrite history. We have done a lot of work but it is not adequate. We have to awaken our ‘purusharth’ (efforts) and work in mission mode," he said.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari briefed the media following the Prime Minister’s address and said Modi laid down his vision for a new India, and exhorted the party to work towards that end.
In a reference to controversial comments made by party leaders, Modi said some of them often get carried away when in front of a mike and added that silence is a better attribute.
It is more difficult to deal with a victory than a loss as many people turn up to advice a loser but not a winner who could get carried away, he said. Invoking Eklavya, a Mahabharata era warrior, Modi asked party leaders and workers to be their own guru like him in their work.
"At a time when the party is registering victories everywhere, it is imperative that their 'utsah' (enthusiasm) does not turn into 'unmad' (unbridled passion)," he told the meeting, adding "silence is a big art".
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Many BJP leaders have been accused of making provocative statements following the party’s recent win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections. Modi also hailed party president Amit Shah's stewardship of the organisation and credited his strategy for BJP's win in the recent polls, especially in Uttar Pradesh.
Calling Shah the BJP's "Chanakya", the 4th century BC economist, teacher, philosopher, jurist and adviser to emperor Chandragupta Maurya, Modi said he had put in huge effort to strengthen the party across the country. He voiced confidence that BJP will win elections in more and more states under him.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister said, for 20 years leading to his quit India call in 1942, 'swadheenata’ (freedom) dominated his public talks. "In the same way, we have to go into mission mode to think how we can bring about socio-economic transformation in the society by 2022," he said.
We have to build a new India of social and economic equality by keeping the poor at the centre of government's policies, he said. India is a rich country with poor people, Modi said, and blamed corruption and "visionless governments" of the past for its current condition.
“Jan dhan, van dhan, jal dhan” (human, forests and water resources) will be the foundation of a new India, he said, underlining his agenda of tapping India’s demographic dividend, launching sustainable development in forests for tribals and exploiting its water resources.
When his government took over, India’s revenue receipt stood at Rs 13 lakh crore which has shot up to Rs 20 lakh crore now, he said, hoping it should be over Rs 26 lakh crore by 2019, when the term of his government ends.
Gadkari said the Prime Minister, in a reference to the EVM row, asked his party colleagues not to be distracted by "negativities" and noted that the NDA government had been targeted over issues like alleged attacks on churches which ultimately turned out to be "non-issues".