I am sitting in Delhi, says Narendra Modi
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi provided a glimpse of his governance agenda were he to become Prime Minister of India while delivering the leader’s speech at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi on Saturday.
The three items high on his agenda would be eradicating corruption, combating food inflation and providing good governance.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said the biggest damage inflicted by UPA-1 and UPA-2 on nation is grievous blow to federalism. On corruption, he said, “Person at top has to be of impeccable integrity. State must be policy-driven, make policy black and white, take away discretionary power of Government.” Modi said, “In this country every citizen needs protection. Don’t segregate. State should not discriminate.”
Asked will his party find it difficult to get allies, Modi said, “That’s not how politics works, it’s media perception and obsession.”
Modi said India should become a net supplier of weapons from a net buyer of weapons. On technology, Modi emphasised on harnessing technology to bring about transparency. On accountability, Modi said, “Stop the transfer industry as Gujarat has done it.”
“We have to be true democrats. Administration has to put people ahead, make them stakeholders,” he said. “Our mindset is our biggest problem. Why can’t we see every challenge as an opportunity?” he asked.
Shri Narendra Modi addressing the India Today Coclave 2013
The Gujarat CM said don’t dream of becoming somebody, dream of doing something. “This is my mantra for India’s young,” he said. On integrated development, he suggested sourcing material for industry from within country. On democracy dividend he said this is one of our strengths. “Along with demographic dividend we can take on China,” he said.
“Ideas need to be institutionalised. Individual centric Government can never deliver,” Modi said. He said with the help of technology we can bring about transparency. “This country can be freed from corruption through harnessing of technology. We have done it in Gujarat,” Modi said.
Modi emphasised on empowering citizens through e-governance. “That’s the way to change situation,” he said. The Gujarat CM said a radical shift is needed in governance approach. “Shift also needed in popular perception,” he said.
Stating that how work on canal inaugurated by Nehru still continuing, he said Sujalam Sufalam canal completed in just two years.
On tax evaders, the The Gujarat CM said, “Tell tax evaders they will be unmasked, exposed, shamed.” This is how to collect 98 per cent tax — the NaMo way. He defined the idea of ‘India First’ — whatever work you are doing, you are doing for your country. “Inculcate this realization,” he said.
Modi said if NREGA could be named as Development Guarantee Scheme to make people stakeholders in nation building.
The Gujarat CM said create pride in India, pride in being Indian. Modi said with India’s innate wisdom, innate qualities and innate abilities, we can win. “That’s how we did it in Gujarat,” he said.
Pushing his innovative reformist views, he proposed private sector participation by introducing Parikrama Yatra which would be privately owned and run Government-owned tracks. They would essentially be meant for pilgrims of all faiths and link places of pilgrimage from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Clearly this would set the path to subsequent massive private sector participation in one of the biggest railways of the world.
On public sector disinvestment, he said PSUs are born to die, either prematurely, or middle-aged. Along with them, thousands of families also die.
Till nowthere were two options to deal with PSUs. Either shut them or sell them. In Gujarat, Modi said, we tried a third option of modernising PSUs, introducing new technologies and professionalising their operation. That has worked.
“My personal philosophy,” said Modi, “is that Government has no business doing business.”
Modi made it abundantly clear that the best Government is one that is policy-driven, transparent and gets out of areas where it does not belong. In brief, minimum Government, maximum governance.
When asked who in the BJP is stopping him from coming to Delhi, Modi said, “I am sitting in Delhi. If someone had stopped me, how could I be sitting here.”
“I have never dreamt of becoming someone in life. I have always tried to do something. Mostly people dream of becoming someone and die. I have never followed this,” he said.
The three-time Gujarat Chief Minister said people should be happy to note that the BJP runs in a democratic way where decisions are taken democratically by its Parliamentary Board and “not on the basis of one family”.
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