New Delhi: To mark the two years of the BJP-led NDA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed an event at India Gate. The event, called ‘Ek Nayi Subah’ highlighted the achievements of the NDA, which turned two on May 26.
Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan, were also present.
9:40 pm: ‘Will join 'Ek Nayi Subah' programme shortly. You can join live’, tweets Narendra Modi.
"Modi ji's mission is to bring governance to the palms of people," says minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, speaking about Digital India. Mohandas Pai says Digital India is the largest programme of its kind in the world.
9:30 pm: A dance performance takes place in front of Gateway of India in Mumbai. Following this there is a live band performance and a message from actress Kajol.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy claims that ‘no one used to talk about skill in India before PM Modi’.
"Earlier youth had to struggle to find employment. Today the government is giving them skills as well as jobs," says Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis added that the government was focusing on skill development for women.
9:10 pm: "PM Modi's Stand Up India, Start Up India has helped the youth of the country start their own enterprises, not be worried about employment," says minister Jitendra Singh.
Controversial Union HRD minister Smriti Irani says, "This government's efforts have accelerated skill education in the country,"
‘Saare Jahan Se Accha’ is performed by a choir. ‘Hum Honge Kamayaab’ is sung by Rajasthan folk singer Moti Khan.
8:40 pm: The focus shifts to infrastructure, particularly roadways and air travel.
"There are 30 crore middle class families in India. Many of them never dreamt of flying. Modi ji has taken up the task of introducing affordable air travel to the masses," says minister Mahesh Sharma.
"Many projects that were lying around, we completed them. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi we shed the policy paralysis that had gripped government," says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. We want to take our speed of highway construction to 41 km per day, he adds. "Travelling by waterways is far cheaper than road transport. It is a priority of this government," he concludes.
Gadkari also speaks about how developing the North East is a serious focus of the NDA government.
8:10 pm: Rajasthan minister Yunus Khan talks about financial inclusion, from Jaipur. A video is telecast on the Mudra scheme that is providing small loans to aspiring entrepreneurs.
After this, the Prince Dance Group performs an electronic remix version of Jai Ho.
8:00 pm: The focus now moves to agriculture.
"Neem-coated urea, crop insurance scheme, soil health card are some of the schemes that are benefiting the farmer greatly," says agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh. He claims that the Modi government is making prosperity of farmers a reality.
"Since independence, if the farmer has been at the centre a government's budget, it has been this time," says Ramvilas Paswan.
7:45 pm: A dance by Padmashree award-winner Gulabo Sapera is followed by discussion on social security schemes of the government.
"Our social security schemes, coupled with JAM - Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile - are like a shield for the poor," says minister Jayant Sinha. "Besides financial inclusion, there's a change in the way people think today. People are confident. That's a bigger victory," says minister Najma Heptulla.
7:20 pm: Actor Vidya Balan supports the programme to end open defecation, speaking from India Gate. "I felt no hesitation to join the campaign to build toilets and end open defecation. I could imagine the plight of women who had to go in the open," says Vidya Balan.
7:05 pm: Ministers Najma A Heptulla, Ram Vilas Paswan, Jayant Sinha and actor-lawmaker Manoj Tiwari speak about the government's drive to bring electricity to all corners of India. "Thank you Narendra Modi, thank you Piyush Goyal for bringing electricity to my village," said Tiwari. He says people from UP and Bihar used to leave the state just because there was no electricity, but this was changing under the Modi government.
6:50 pm: Instead of Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel, Nitinbhai Patel, who is her rumoured replacement ahead of the Gujarat elections, speaks from Ahmedabad on the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. Surat is showcased as being one of the cleanest railway stations in India.
In Delhi, Kailash Kher is on stage. "Earlier we had no idea what work the government was doing. Now we have a clear picture about all the work that is happening around us," he says. Asia's cleanest village - Meghalaya's Mawlynnong is showcased from the Guwahati studio.
6:25 pm: The government has exceeded its targets in building toilets, says minister Chaudhary Birender Singh. He says the government’s aim is to make the country open defecation free.
Minister Uma Bharti speaks about the efforts to clean the Ganga River. "Previous governments spent the money in an unplanned way. We have a clear, phased approach to clean the Ganga," she says.
6:05 pm: A dance performance from Karnal in Haryana is organised on educating the girl child. Legislator Harvinder Kalyan speaks about the impact of government's schemes on Haryana, says lot of change is happening.
Madhavan, Raveena Tandon speak on empowerment of women. "I think the empowerment of women is a lot about conditioning. I think mothers can play a great role in this kind of upbringing," says Madhavan.
Raveena Tandon says she helped an orphanage of 30 children and caregivers who were thrown to the streets by their landlord.
5:40 pm: Maneka Gandhi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Health Minister JP Nadda, Raveena Tandon others on stage now to talk about government initiatives for women and children.
JP Nadda said 1 crore 62 lakh children have been provided immunization in the last one year. He says some new vaccines like rotavirus have also been introduced.
11 lakh children saved in February, 13 lakh children in March with the government initiatives, says Maneka Gandhi. She says a national portal for lost and found children has been launched.
5:20 pm: Amitabh Bachchan is on stage to speak about the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme.
"Please don't think of women as the weaker gender. If we are talking about inner-strength, then they are far stronger than men," says Amitabh Bachchan at the mega event. He adds that growth is intrinsically connected to the development of women.
He interacts with underprivileged girl children who ask him a number of questions. "There is nothing called Big B. You just need to work hard and keep yourself focused," says Amitabh to a student.
5:05 pm: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the NDA government has initiated several steps to curb black money in the economy. "The government launched a massive crackdown on parallel economies," said Jaitley. He said that 22 crore bank accounts had been opened in the last year itself.
Attacking UPA's retrospective tax, he said the move had been unpredictable and people wanted predictability in business. Jaitley claimed that the India had been growing much faster compared to the world, but it was difficult to maintain growth when the rest of the world was performing poorly.
The Narendra Modi government is all set to showcase its 'achievements' over the past two years when it kicks off second anniversary celebrations at India Gate in the national capital on Saturday evening.
Various schemes and programmes, particularly Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India and Rural Electrification, will be highlighted during the show.
The government had formed a panel of ministers, headed by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and comprising Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, to supervise preparations for the show.
BJP has also planned to hold over 200 events across the country between May 26 and June 10 to highlight the government's "successes".
A controversy over Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s participation in the show had led to much political wrangling. Amitabh, whose name has figured in the Panama Papers, was rumoured to host the show. This had brought about a storm of protest from Opposition parties, especially the Congress. However, Bachchan had later clarified that he would merely be hosting a small segment regarding the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign during the programme.
The Congress though has attacked the Modi government on its 2nd anniversary celebrations, questioning the rationale behind it. According to Congress leader Anil K Shastri, the Modi government had not fulfilled ‘any of its promises’ in its 2-year tenure. He said the most laughable promise of Modi was with regard to bringing back black money and depositing Rs 15 lakh each in the bank accounts of every citizen.
"We would like to challenge this government for a debate at any time and any place of their choosing on the 2 years of NDA-BJP Government", Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters targeting the government over its record in governance.
Taking a jibe at BJP chief Amit Shah over his claims that there were no allegations of corruption in the last two years, he said that under the Modi regime, several scams have taken place and the Government has hardly taken any concrete steps to deal with them." Tewari also claimed that the economy ‘was in a big mess’.