Cong used to recite the word 'poor' like a 'song': Modi

Modi slams Congress for ‘hypocrisy’ towards poor; says previous govt had ‘distortion’ in system

Modi accused the previous government of keeping the poor and villagers away from basic amenities like roads, electricity, housing, cooking fuel, banking

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the interaction with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana of Madhya Pradesh, via video conference in New Delhi. Credit: PTI Photo

In a veiled attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the previous government of indulging in hypocrisy, and said it used to recite the word 'poor' hundred times a day like a "song", but did not work for their welfare.

Speaking during a video interaction with Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) beneficiaries from Madhya Pradesh, he also said that there was ‘vikriti’ (distortion) in the system of the previous government.

Asserting that with the change in the functioning of the government now, the schemes were reaching the beneficiaries, Modi also said work was on to mitigate the problems being faced on the employment front. "The schemes of the government are reaching the ground and are being implemented at a fast pace because of change in the functioning of the government. There was 'vikriti' in the previous government's system. They used to ask questions about the poor and also give answers themselves,” he said.

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He accused the previous government of keeping the poor and villagers away from basic amenities like roads, electricity, housing, cooking fuel, banking etc, and said, "They used to speak the word poor hundreds of times a day. They recited the word poor like a song, but did not adopt their welfare in practice. Such acts are called 'pakhand' (hypocrisy). They did not give these facilities to the poor but used to express false sympathy."

Talking about his government's measures, he said as many as 80 crore Indians received free ration during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and these included five crore people from Madhya Pradesh. He described the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest disaster faced by humanity in the last 100 years, and said people should continue to wear masks, sanitize hands and maintain social distancing to check the spread of the virus.

He said that the fight against Covid-19 was more difficult for India than other parts of the world given the problems caused by large population, lives and jobs affected by migration in addition to the medical infrastructure woes. "India gave the first priority to the poor in its strategy to combat the crisis due to coronavirus. Be it Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana, we thought about food and employment of the poor from day one itself,” he said.

Modi said that the country gave priority to 'Made in India' while making all these arrangements against the pandemic. "India developed its own Covid-19 vaccine. Yesterday, we crossed the significant mark of giving 50 crore doses. We are administering more vaccines than the population of several countries in one week. We will further speed up this process,” he said.

Praising the Madhya Pradesh government for its welfare works and taking the state from the category of BIMARU states, Modi said that this is the benefit of the "double engine" governments (same party ruling in state and Centre) as the state strongly implements the Centre's schemes. He said that measures were being taken to reduce the impact of job losses due to pandemic in India. "Work is being done to mitigate the effect of problems being faced on the employment front. The government is working at a fast pace in the field of construction and infrastructure, which provides jobs in large numbers. Small scale industries are being helped. Relief is being given to farmers,” he said.

The quality of roads in Madhya Pradesh used to be very poor earlier and they would hear news of scams under the previous (Congress) government, he said, adding that the present dispensation worked at a fast pace to develop the infrastructure. He said that the Madhya Pradesh government purchased wheat from 17 lakh farmers and paid Rs 25,000 crore to them.

Stressing his government's 'vocal for local' initiative, Modi said Indians should buy handicraft items during the festival season to encourage those working in this sector.

Before his address, Modi interacted with some beneficiaries of the PMGKAY in different parts of Madhya Pradesh, including Chandrabhan from Niwari, Maya Uike from Hoshangabad and Rajendra Sharma of Burhanpur. While interacting with Chandrabhan, Modi asked whether the benefits of Centre's and state's various schemes were reaching to him or not. When replied in the positive, the PM expressed satisfaction and said, "All hundred paise of one rupee sent by the Centre is now reaching the villages. The money is not reaching the mediators."

Speaking with Maya Uike, Modi asked how she likes to see the future of her children. When she said that she would ensure their study, Modi said that several girls, who are participating in the Tokyo Olympics from India, belong to very poor families but are putting up amazing performances. MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also addressed the virtual programme that was broadcast from Bhopal's Minto Hall.