Pitching to strengthen Centre-State relationship to cement the federal structure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government is taking states on board for development of the country. Speaking at an event organised by the national daily Hindustan Times group, PM Modi asserted that India can move ahead only on the “strong shoulders” of the states and not just the Centre alone.
“India is not going to progress from Delhi,” the Prime Minister said while delivering the inaugural address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
Citing various measures taken by his government like setting up special departments for states at the Centre in taking them along, PM Modi said the states have the most important role in India’s progress.
“States have the most important role in India’s progress. India can move ahead only on the strong shoulders of the states and not from Delhi alone. If we walk together shoulder to shoulder then results will automatically come,” he said.
During his 40-minute speech, the Prime Minister also emphasised that a decisive mandate given to his party BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was crucial to the country’s progress.
Claiming there was a sense of “despondency” all over before his government took over office in May last year, he said, “having a stable Government is a very big thing and this can’t be ignored,” further adding that “fractured mandates always have uncertainty”.
Talking about the measures being taken by his government at Centre to push development in the states, especially the eastern region, PM Modi said the Centre had recently sanctioned two major plants for manufacturing railway engines in Bihar. The prime minister also spoke about various initiatives taken by his government, including promoting LED lights in 100 cities, targeted subsidies and changing work culture in the public sector to turn it around, to push development and save money.
“If I cut down subsidy, I will be hailed as reformist, but if we do targeted delivery of subsidies it is not seen as reform,” he added.
Talking about MoUs signed by the Centre with 100 cities for promotion of LED lights, he said it will result in saving 21,500 MW of power. “If I had announced a new power project of 21,500 MW, then it would be a headline in media. Such a factory would have cost Rs 1.25 lakh crore. I have achieved the same result but it has not got the same attention,” the Prime Minister told the audience.
Addressing the gathering, the PM also lauded the lawmakers across the party lines for the smooth functioning of the Parliament and said the good news is Parliament is running. Last session had seen a near washout after the acrimony between government and the opposition peaking over the issue of Vyapam scam and Lalit Modi controversy, where the Opposition sought resignations of top leaders of the ruling BJP.
“I have to go to Parliament. The good news is that Parliament is running,” he said adding that the “credit does not go to Modi but to all the parties”.
(With inputs from the PTI)