“Corruption has ruined our country,” accepted PM Modi after paying homage to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at their memorial in Hussainiwala in Punjab’s frontier district of Ferozepur today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a direct attack on the UPA government just after paying homage to great martyrs. He said that the coal blocks allocation scam during the tenure of the previous UPA government at the centre was much bigger than the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report.
“The coal scam was thought to Rs 1.76 lakh crore as per the CAG report. Some people said that the amount was exaggerated. It has turned out to be much bigger than that figure. Only 20 coal blocks out of 204 blocks have been auctioned by our government so far and over Rs. two lakh crore has already collected. Rest of the coal blocks yet to be auctioned. Imagine how much more money will come for the development of the country,” Modi, sporting a yellow turban, which is symbolic to martyr Bhagat Singh, said.
Highlighting another scandal related to purchase of LED bulbs by the UPA government, Modi said: “The previous government bought LED bulbs at Rs 300 per bulb in 2014. We have bought the same for Rs 80 apiece. There was rampant corruption everywhere.”
Modi arrived here Monday afternoon and paid homage to freedom struggle martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The prime minister placed a wreath at the martyrs’ memorial and bowed with folded hands.
India’s president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister soon after newly elected lawmakers from the ruling alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, elected him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections.
President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government and the date for the swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime minister. Modi and some leaders of his alliance met the president on Saturday.
Media reports said Modi was likely to be sworn in by Kovind on Thursday.
BJP president Amit Shah announced Modi’s name as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance in a meeting of the lawmakers in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi.
The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, after the official vote count from the six-week-long election was completed on Friday. That is well beyond the simple majority a party in India needs to form a government.
The BJP’s top rival, the Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, won 52 seats, and the All India Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won 22.
Critics say Modi and his party have applied divisive policies and used a Hindu-first strategy. But Modi said after Saturday’s vote that “this election has become a movement of social unity.” “It is generally said that the election divides, creates distances, makes walls. But the 2019 elections have worked to break the walls,” he said in his address.
On Friday, Modi met with his outgoing Cabinet ministers and later presented his resignation to the country’s president. The president asked the officials to continue to serve until the new government assumes office.
Gandhi, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father were all prime ministers, personally conceded his seat, long a Congress party bastion, to his BJP rival, India’s textiles minister, marking the end of an era for modern India’s most powerful political dynasty.
Counting of the estimated 600 million ballots cast over six weeks of staggered polling — the world’s largest democratic exercise — began early Thursday.
The victory was largely seen as a referendum on Modi’s Hindu-first politics that some observers say have bred intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities, as well as his muscular stance on neighboring Pakistan, with whom India nearly went to war earlier this year after suicide attacks killed more than 40 Indian security officials in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Modi effectively used the incident as a major campaign tool after responding to the attack with an airstrike in Pakistan that triggered nationalist sentiments, with the BJP saying Modi is the right person to ensure India’s national security. (VOA)