Delivering his first speech in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Modi said that good governance needs to be converted into a people's movement. The prime minister described bad governance "as worse than diabetes in the human body, which destroys the entire system. Last-mile delivery is the biggest problem". Modi said that government's target of providing houses for all by 2022, the 75th anniversary of country's independence, should be a "movement" and every MP should support this.
He also called for paying fitting tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019 by resolving to create a "swatch Bharat (clean India)".
Modi said it was government's responsibility to "live for the poor". Seeking the opposition's support in the government's endeavors, he said: "We want to take you along, and if needed, we would also seek your guidance."
Modi, who took oath as prime minister May 26 at the head of a NDA government, said the government would "leave no stone unturned to fulfill" the promises made by it. In his speeches in both houses, where he spoke forcefully and was heard with rapt attention by members, Modi said there was need to take bold decisions and also make small innovative changes at every level for the country to realize its potential. He spoke of working in spirit of cooperative federalism and said MPs were custodians of the hope and aspirations of millions of Indians. He said the condition of Muslims has remained unchanged, alluding to the fact that nothing much has been done for them despite all the talk by previous governments.
"A body is not healthy, if any of its part is not healthy," he said with specific reference to the community for the first time. Sending a strong message on women's security, Modi said politicians should stop commenting frivolously on such incidents. "I want to appeal to the politicians of the country, stop this psychological analysis of incidents of rape. It does not behove of you," Modi said.
"They are playing with the dignity of our mothers and sisters. Such a commentary is not appropriate at political level. The respect and security of women should be the concern of all 125 crore Indians," he said. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is among leaders who have commented on the issue - saying "boys will make mistakes" - drawing wide criticism.
On the farm sector, Modi said proper management of agriculture products through modern technology can help control food inflation, adding that there is adequate availability of food products in the country. "There is enough food in the country. What is required is proper management," Modi said. He said efforts should be made to gather "real-time data" of agricultural products that would help regulators take the required action to manage prices. The prime minister indicated that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) could be restructured for better management of agricultural produce.
On the issue of corruption, the prime minister said the state must be policy-driven and non-discriminatory. He said there should be minimum grey areas in policy and maximum use of technology. He said FIRs against MPs should be decided within a period of one year with the help of the Supreme Court so that the guilty can be convicted and the innocent absolved - and the stain is removed from the august Houses of Parliament. Indicating his Government's resolve in this regard, he said an SIT on black money, which had been pending for two years, had already been formed. Referring to the speeches made during the two-day debate in the Lok Sabha which lasted over 12 hours and saw participation of 52 members, Modi said use of modern technology in farming and proper management with the help of real-time data will help curb food inflation. Modi said Mahatma Gandhi had converted the urge for freedom among people into a people's movement. "There is need to make a people's movement for good governance," Modi said and added that everyone should feel that the task he or she was doing was "for the country."
Dwelling on the need for realizing the country's demographic dividend, he said country should pay attention to skill development as India was a young nation and 65 percent of the country was below the age of 35, but the majority lacked skills.
In a veiled attack on UPA government whose term in office was riddled by controversies related to corruption, Modi said India's image has become synonymous with "scam-India." "We have to make India's identity as skill India," Modi said. (IANS)