'Why Should Poverty Be a Virtue?': PM Modi Explains His Vision Behind $5 Trillion Economy Aim
Aspirational sentiment is clearly going to be the poll plank of the party as it prepares for poll battles in Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra this year, and Delhi, Puducherry and the crucial state of Bihar next year.
PM Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and BJP Working President JP Nadda at the launch of the party's membership drive in Varanasi on Saturday. (PTI)
New Delhi: The poll pitch of BJP, as it takes the reins of the country for the second time under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in its current term is going to be made up of four words — 'five trillion dollar economy'.
As Modi launched the BJP's membership drive from his Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Saturday, on the occasion of the 118th birth anniversary of party ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee, he told party workers, "You have to understand the full import of what a $5 trillion economy means and take this message to the masses."
Addressing a hall packed with hundreds of BJP workers, Modi said, "You have to understand what does that target mean to an ordinary Indian. It is important for you to know it and spread the word...that the income of every household will increase. Why should India not dream big? Why should poverty be considered to be a virtue?"
Citing the example of Satyanarayan pooja, he said, "The epic starts with a story about a poor Brahmin. Why should one consider poverty to be a quality? Why should anyone remain poor. A $5 trillion economy means five lakh crore dollars...to convert it into rupees multiply it by 65 to 70 times. It means an economy that is twice its present size."
Aspirational sentiment is clearly going to be the poll plank of the party as it prepares for electoral battles in Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra this year, and Delhi, Puducherry and the crucial state of Bihar next year.
Ten days ago in his first Lok Sabha speech of his second term, Modi had said that there has been "an acceleration of aspirations". Modi had described the country as a "New India" distinct from the family-driven, corrupt politics of the "old India".
"We are a nation of 1.4 billion people. Why shouldn't we dream big?" Modi had declared in the Lower House.
Continuing on the same theme, Modi warned his audience against those who raise doubts about India being able to achieve this target by 2024. The people who raised such doubts, he said, were "perennial pessimists".
"I am fully confident that as a nation, with our collective efforts, in the next five years we will definitely reach the destination of $5 trillion economy. But some people are questioning the need for this (goal) and asking why all these are being done. These are people we can call 'pesheywar nirashawadi' (professional pessimists). These professional pessimists are totally different from the common people. If you approach a common man with a problem, he will offer you a solution. But if you go to these people with a solution, they will convert it into a problem," he said a day after presentation of the Union Budget 2019-20.
"There are a few who create doubt and are always pessimistic. They say that such a target is beyond India's capability and is not possible for Indians to achieve. But they forget that for us Indians, hardships have never deterred us... I can see in the youth, and others too, a fire to take this country to great heights. It is the hardships that make us even stronger, even more determined."
Modi said that under his leadership, $1 trillion had been added to the economy in the last five years. "Who would have thought that we will be able to achieve all this? To this we all have to work together," he said.
Referring to the budgetary provisions, Modi said a "new India" was on the threshold of sprinting forward and recited a few couplets in Hindi, which means the challenges before one also offer immense opportunities to surmount them and everyone's contribution in the development the country will be a true gift for the motherland.
"The rich and the poor are the arms of the new India. This is the call of a transforming country. The nation has moved ahead in the past too, but now new India is ready to sprint," Modi added.
"People have the power to turn the impossible into possible. Try to remember, there was a time when the country used to reel under the problem of foodgrains. The country had to import foodgrains. But, at that time (Lal Bahadur) Shastriji gave the clarion call of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, and the farmers filled the storehouses of the country with foodgrains," he said.
The BJP on Saturday kicked off its nationwide drive to increase its footprint in India by at least 20% in the next three years, the responsibility for which has been given to former Chief Minister and member of BJP's Parliamentary board member, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Modi said the membership drive will further connect people from all walks of life with the saffron party.
"From the soil of Kashi, I greet each dedicated worker of the party. Today, I got an opportunity to launch the BJP's membership campaign from Kashi," he said.
For the membership drive, the BJP workers have undertaken massive preparations to add 36 lakh new members in Uttar Pradesh itself. Modi kick-started the drive by welcoming 11 prominent people from various sections of the society to the BJP.
“Four counters will be set up at the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade facilitation centre to welcome new members to the party. Apart from this, a helpline will also be launched on which and people can get membership by calling on this number. The number will be launched post formal inauguration of the drive by PM Modi on 6th July.” a worker said on Friday.
Modi said that the country moves ahead on achieving targets and the need is willpower to achieve that target.
"These (qualities) are not compulsion for BJP workers, but a necessity for them. We have inherited these values from people like Atal ji, Advani ji, Joshi ji and many others. The main feeling underlining today's membership campaign is we should work as ambassadors of the country along with that of the party," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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