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Modi Celebrates Two Years In Office With A Gala Event

PM accuses opposition of pursuing the agenda of 'obstructionism' and recalls the scams and scandals under the UPA government

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The Narendra Modi government on Saturday celebrated its two years in office with a gala event, which had a smattering of Bollywood actors, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan where the Prime Minister vowed to root out corruption and make life easier for people "looted" for years.

A battery of Union Ministers dwelt at length on the "achievements" of the BJP-led NDA dispensation at the centrepiece event which was held at historic India Gate.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and many of his ministerial colleagues spoke about numerous steps taken by the government across sectors, while some Cabinet Ministers joined in from different parts of the country, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Vijaywada.

Without naming the Congress, Modi accused the opposition party of pursuing the agenda of "obstructionism" and recalled the scams and scandals that took place under the UPA governments, including in coal block allocation.

The Prime Minister said checking the menace of corruption is the focus of his government and people can see it when compared with that of previous dispensations.

"As long as we do not remember the work done during the days of the previous government, we will not be able to realize that what a big task has been accomplished," he said.

"I am standing before people of the country with satisfaction. We have been able to to get the trust and enthusiasm of people despite a very minute examination of our work. The trust of people is growing day by day. This also increases our confidence," Modi said speaking at the event "Ek Nayi Subah", which was in a talkathon format spread over nearly six hours.

"On one hand there is the agenda of development (vikaswaad) and on the other hand is the agenda of obstructionism (virodhvaad)," he said.

The event, which was telecast live by Doordarshan across the country, also saw superstar Amitabh Bachchan talk about one of the government's flagship programmes 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'. His participation came amid questions being raised by opposition parties in the wake of his name figuring in Panama papers.

Black Money
Addressing the gathering Jaitley warned of strict action against people stashing black money and said prosecution would be initiated against those found to have parked funds illegally in accounts named in 'Panama Papers'.

"If illegal money is found in accounts of those who are named in Panama case, then they will also be prosecuted as in case of HSBC accounts," he said.

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Modi government has changed the style of governance and ended policy paralysis that existed during the previous UPA regime.

He added that government has brought in transparency and cut down red tape.

Food and Public Distribution System Minister Ram Vilas Paswan lauded the government's electrification programme, saying it has benefited the poor and dalits most.

Digital India

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is trying to provide technology for the poor for their empowerment.

"This country is changing and we have to take it forward," he said, adding that e-commerce is also progressing fast.

Prasad said Digital India will transform the country and the mission is to bring governance to the "palm of the people".

HRD minister Smriti Irani spoke about the government's efforts to impart skill education in the country.

Maneka Gandhi, Union Women and Child Development Minister, said the government has strengthened anganwadi centres to tackle malnutrition and taken several child reform initiatives to ensure their safety and security.

"There was no check on Anganwadis since they were established, as a result of which malnutrition went on increasing. So, we put the entire system on reform mode," she said.

Talking about children's immunisation cover, Health Minister J P Nadda said it has increased five to six per cent in the past two years with the government's Mission Indradhanush programme.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was among the very few senior Cabinet members who did not participate in the event due to illness.

"I am recovering from illness. I will join our Government's celebrations very soon," she said while replying to a query on twitter.

Apart from Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju were not part of the event.


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