Modi to go extempore on Independence Day

Modi to go extempore on Independence Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his first Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Friday, giving a glimpse of the major policy initiatives his government would take up in the days to come.

Modi will break the tradition and go extempore on talking points unlike many previous prime ministers who read out their speeches. A panel of four ministers, including Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal, was set up to put together the content for the prime minister’s speech.

Globally, there is much curiosity about the new economic schemes that the government will roll out to bring respite to the masses from inflation and revive fiscal health.

Government sources said Modi is likely to announce the Cabinet-approved Financial Inclusion Mission, which intends to provide bank accounts to 15 crore poor persons, giving them twin facilities of an overdraft of Rs 5,000 and accident insurance of Rs 1 lakh. The two-phased scheme, which would offer two bank accounts in its bid to reach out to 7.5 crore identified households by August 2018, gels well with Modi’s pronounced view that his government is for the poor.

At a recent BJP conclave, Modi had said he was more than confident about fulfilling the hopes of the masses on whose strength he rose to power. However, much of the time he has been in office went in cleaning the muck the UPA had collected in its decade-long rule, he said.

His address to the nation is likely to amplify the fact that the NDA government has been able to push key judicial reforms in this parliamentary session and gain from the ‘neighbours first’ diplomatic move.

The prime minister’s decision to bank on his oratory skills than the script has added to the responsibility of the Press Information Bureau, which has now constituted a huge team, including translators, to make the transcript of his address available in English, Hindi and Urdu.

Modi prefers delivering his speech in Hindi. Last year, Modi as Gujarat chief minister, had addressed the nation from Lallan College in Bhuj. Interestingly, his speech got more media coverage than that of then prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Extra efforts are being made by the government to make the Independence Day function people-driven and more Delhiites are being encouraged to participate, BJP leaders said.
 
The BJP has also directed its MPs to be present for the function. Unprecedented security arrangements have been made this time, given the security threat that Modi faces.

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