At Red Fort, Modi reiterates commitment to growth

I-Day vows: Prime minister calls on neighbour countries to come and invest in India

At Red Fort, Modi reiterates commitment to growth

 The big political takeaway from his maiden Red Fort address is the Prime Minister conveying that he is still the same old Modi who won the huge mandate less than three months ago and is determined to do his job.

Also, he will stay on course  and remain connected to the concerns of the common people and deliver on his promises, thereby seek to dismiss the recent statements that he was preferring to be silent and going into a shell, his partymen say.

In fact, Modi’s critics have been talking about his studied silence for sometime on many issues in the backdrop of his government’s first Budget not creating big waves and that few of his election campaign promises were becoming a reality.

As BJP leaders say, Modi has been aware of the fact that many of his supporters have been disappointed that he has not undertaken big leaps and rather preferred to take small steps.

Modi’s Red Fort address was, therefore, supposed to reassure the BJP’s own faithful following as well as the public that the man they voted as PM remains unchanged. Those who felt that his government has lost direction were given a message of reassurance.

As a senior BJP minister put it: “Modi has shown that nothing has changed when it comes to his political commitment and the delay, if any, on the part of his government on any issue is more to do with his attempt to fix the system than because he is forgetting his promises.”

Modi’s account of his days in office from being an “outsider” till he became an “insider” was intended to highlight the muddle in the bureaucratic system, which he vowed to end, and the attitude of people who man it.

“I saw that in one government there were dozens of governments. It was as if each had their own fiefdoms,” he said, which, his aides say, was to show he is still upset and exasperated like the common people with the bureaucracy and rampant corruption.

It is believed that Modi worked on his speech over the last few days, adding points to his draft as and when they occurred to him. He did away with the bullet-proof glass shield on the stage to be seen more clearly by the people.

Also Modi’s appeal to the people to change their mindset on social issues affecting girl children was to underline that he is deeply concerned on the reports of violence against women.

By calling for at least a 10-year moratorium on issues that stoke casteism and communalism, Modi did not exclude from his ambit the right-wing organisations like Bajrang Dal who are blamed for social tensions, a BJP leader said. These bodies must realise that development is the key to all problems.

As for the dominating theme of his address, namely the economy, Modi’s emphasis on specific issues flowed from the BJP’s election manifesto and the subsequent commitments made in Finance Minister Arun Jaitely’s maiden Budget.

Modi’s announcement of the closing down of the Planning Commission, an institution from the Nehruvian era, was to signal that his government was looking at “out of the box” solutions for addressing new challenges, aides added.

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