‘Govt’s policy initiatives have changed lives’: PM Modi

Addressing bread-and-butter issues such as electricity and roads has been among the big achievements of the National Democratic Alliance government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“On a related note, you may have observed an interesting phenomenon in this election,” Modi said in the second part of an interview with Hindustan Times (part 1 was carried on Wednesday and featured his views on the political situation and other issues).

“Earlier, the pet issues of any Opposition were bijli (electricity), sadak (roads), paani (water) and mehangai (inflation). Incumbent governments have been routed on these issues. Today, the situation is the exact opposite. The incumbent government has much to talk about on our track record in these areas whereas the Opposition is silent. They have nothing to talk on these issues of national importance.”

Modi, 68, said the government had also expended a lot of effort in mitigating water problems too, but that had “not hit the headlines of newspapers as it should have”, adding that the government’s priorities were to supply adequate water to farms and clean drinking water in both cities and villages.

Setting up a separate ministry for water is one of the specifics in Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto.

Asked to pick the government’s most significant policy campaign from among initiatives such as Swachh Bharat, Ayushman Bharat, the health insurance scheme for the poor; and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana aimed at providing the poor affordable housing, Modi said each had contributed to improving the lives of the people.

“Each of these initiatives has fundamentally changed people’s lives, in a way that they have been freed from the fear and uncertainty that poverty, sickness and homelessness bring in people’s lives. These fears had tied down generations of Indians and trapped them in a cycle of poverty. But that feeling of fear, anxiety and helplessness is being driven away now,” he added.