New Delhi, Feb 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said that the abrogation of Article 370 ensured that Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) got the same rights in Jammu and Kashmir as the rest of the country.
Replying to the motion of thanks on the President's address to the Rajya Sabha, the PM touched upon the rights and development of SC, ST, and OBC communities and said, “The abrogation of Article 370 ensured that these communities get the same rights as the rest of the country in J&K.”
He said that the Forest Rights Act, Prevention of Atrocities Act, and domicile rights for the Valmiki community in J&K were also implemented only after the abrogation of Article 370.
PM Modi also mentioned the passing of the bill for OBC reservation in the local bodies of J&K.
He said that the 75th Republic Day was a significant milestone in the nation’s journey and the President during her address spoke about India’s self-confidence.
The PM underlined that in her address, the President expressed confidence about India’s bright future and acknowledged the capability of the citizens of India.
He thanked the President for her inspirational address that guided the nation to accomplish the resolve of Viksit Bharat.
PM Modi also thanked the Members of the House for a fruitful discussion on the ‘motion of thanks’ in the President's address.
“Rashtrapati Ji's address emphasised India's burgeoning confidence, promising future, and immense potential of its people,” he said.
Speaking regarding the atmosphere of the House, the PM said, “The opposition cannot suppress my voice, because the people of the country have given strength to this voice.”
He recalled the time of leakages of public finance, ‘fragile five’ and ‘policy paralysis’, and said that the current government worked with great consideration to bring the country out of the earlier mess. “During the Congress government’s 10 years of rule, the entire world used words like ‘fragile five’ and policy paralysis for India. And in our 10 years - among the top 5 economies. That is how the world talks about us today,” PM Modi said.
He also emphasised the government’s effort to remove the signs of colonial mentality which were ignored by the earlier governments.
The PM listed new ensign for the defence forces, Kartavya Path, renaming the Andaman Islands, abolition of colonial laws, promotion of the Indian language, and many other such steps.
He mentioned the past inferiority complex about indigenous products, traditions, and local values.
PM Modi said all this was being addressed earnestly now.
Giving insights about the President’s address regarding the four most important castes Nari Shakti, Yuva Shakti, the poor, and Anna Data, he reiterated that the development and progress of these four main pillars of India would lead to the nation becoming developed.
The PM said that the 20th-century approach would not work to achieve Viksit Bharat by 2047.
He mentioned the steps to honour Baba Saheb Ambedkar and pointed out the event of tribal women becoming the President of the nation.
Speaking about the government policies for the welfare of the poor, PM Modi underlined prioritising the development of the SC, ST, OBC, and tribal communities.
He mentioned pucca houses, cleanliness campaigns to improve health, Ujjwala gas scheme, free ration and Ayushman Yojna to empower these communities.
The PM said that in the last 10 years, scholarships for SC and ST students were increased, enrollment numbers in school rose, dropout rates were reduced significantly, a new Central Tribal University was established taking the number from one to two and the number of Eklavya Model Schools increased from 120 to 400.
He said that enrolment of SC students in higher education had increased by 44 percent, ST students’ enrolment by 65 percent, and OBC enrollment went up by 45 percent.
“Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is not just a slogan, it is Modi’s guarantee.” PM Modi said.
He cautioned against spreading a mood of despair based on a false narrative.
The PM said that he was born in an independent India and his thoughts and dreams were independent leaving no room for a colonial mindset in the nation.
PM Modi said as opposed to the earlier mess of the public sector enterprises, now enterprises like BSNL were leading the rollout of 4G and 5G, HAL was doing record manufacturing, Asia’s largest helicopter factory was HAL in Karnataka, and LIC too is thriving with record share prices.
He informed the House that the number of PSUs in the country increased from 234 in 2014 to 254 today, and most of them were giving record returns drawing the attention of the investors.
The PM said that the PSU Index in the country had witnessed a two-fold rise within the last year.
“In the last 10 years, PSU’s net profit saw an increase from Rs 1.25 lakh crore between 2004 and 2014 to Rs 2.50 lakh crore, and the net value of PSUs increased from Rs 9.5 lakh crore to Rs 17 lakh crore,” he said.
PM Modi said that he understands regional aspirations well as he has passed through the process as a chief minister of a state.
He reiterated the mantra of ‘states development for country’s development’.
The PM gave assurance that full support would be provided by the Centre for the development of the states.
Emphasising the importance of healthy competition for development among the states, he called for competitive cooperative federalism.
Throwing light on the challenges of the once-in-a-lifetime COVID pandemic, PM Modi recalled chairing 20 meetings with the CM of all states and credited the entire machinery for tackling the challenge head-on.
He also mentioned spreading the exposure and glory of G20 to all the states as events were organised all over the country.
The PM also pointed out his practice of taking foreign dignitaries to different states.
Continuing with the role of the states, he gave credit to the states for the success of the Aspirational District Programme.
“The design of our programme takes the states along and is for taking the nations forward collectively,” PM Modi said.
Drawing an analogy to the functioning of the nation with that of the human body, he reiterated that even if one state remains deprived and underdeveloped, the nation could not be considered developed similar to how a non-functioning body part affects the entire body.
The PM said that the direction of the nation's policies was towards ensuring basic facilities for all and raising the standards of living.
“In the coming days, our focus will be going beyond ease of living to improving quality of life,” he said.
PM Modi stressed his resolve to provide new opportunities to the neo-middle class that had just come out of poverty.
“We will provide more strength to the ‘Modi Kavach’ of Social Justice,” he said.
Highlighting the government’s support for those who have arisen out of poverty, the PM declared that the free ration scheme, Ayushman scheme, 80 percent discounts on medicines, PM Samman Nidhi for farmers, pucca houses for the poor, tapped water connections, and construction of new toilets would continue at a fast pace.
“Modi 3.0 will leave no stone unturned to strengthen the foundations of Viksit Bharat,” he said.
PM Modi said that strides in the medical infrastructure would continue in the next 5 years and medical treatment would be more affordable, every house would have piped water, saturation of PM Awas would be achieved, electricity bills become zero for crores of houses due to solar power, piped cooking gas in the entire country, startups would increase, and patent filing would break new records.
He assured the house that in the next 5 years, the world would witness the capabilities of Indian youth in every international sporting competition, the public transport system would be transformed, the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign would attain new heights, Made in India semiconductors and electronics would dominate the world, and the country would work towards reducing energy dependence on other countries.
The PM also mentioned the push towards green hydrogen and ethanol blending.
He also reaffirmed India’s belief in becoming Atmanirbhar in edible oil production.
Continuing with the vision of the next 5 years, PM Modi talked of the promotion of natural farming and millet as a super food.
“Drone use in agriculture will see a new increase.
Similarly, the use of nano urea cooperative is being promoted as a people's movement,” PM Modi said.
He also talked of new records in fisheries and animal husbandry.
The PM also drew attention to the tourism sector becoming a huge source of employment in the next 5 years.
He underlined the capability of many states in the country to drive their economy solely by tourism.
“India is going to become a massive tourist destination for the world,” PM Modi said.
He also highlighted the strides in the field of Digital India and Fintech and said that the next 5 years present a positive future for India’s digital economy.
“Digital services will further India’s progress,” the PM said. “I have full faith that our scientists will take us to new heights in the field of space technology.”
Talking about the transformation of the grassroots economy and underlining the government’s commitment to Viksit Bharat, he mentioned Self Help Groups and said, “Three crore Lakhpati Didis will write a new script of women empowerment. By 2047, India will re-live its golden period.”
PM Modi thanked the Rajya Sabha Chairman for the opportunity to present the facts before the house and the nation and also thanked the President of India for her inspirational address.