The change in demeanor was noticeable. Today really underlines the fact that things are different in Delhi and the country now – tables have turned.
We have two visuals on the TV screen simultaneously: on the one hand is Modi speaking gently and in polite tones to BJP workers including MPs. A smallish gathering by any reckoning. On the other side we have a sea of people on the Ramlila maidan in an exuberant mood; very colorful, very cheerful ( though they are protesting a supposedly serious ‘anti farmer’ bill) and very optimistic mood. There are men in pink turbans; women in saffron and yellow sarees who break into a ‘flash dance’. This ‘mela’ seems more like a “Welcome Party” for Rahul than a protest campaign about anything.
Back to Modi utterances – “I am not a power hungry, stick- to- the- chair- at- any- cost kind of politician” he said. “I am genuinely pro poor; everything I do or set in motion is for their benefit” he was almost pleading.
He began his talk by listing all the achievements of his France – Germany – Canada tour. “We have gone to the next level of nuclear power and atomic energy due to agreements made in this visit” he asserted. “The French govt. in collaboration with L&T will produce nuclear reactors in India”.
Next he declared that if people forego their gas cylinder subsidies, the cylinders surrendered will go directly to rural, poor women who cook on firewood today in smoke ridden unhealthy conditions. “At a stroke we shall be helping woman, helping environment, helping the poor and helping the cause of health” he listed. Smoke is indeed unhealthy for the woman who cook on chulhas and their children who are exposed to the smoky atmosphere.
Being Modi, he could not stop himself from periodically taking pot shots at the previous UPA governments, though he was much more subdued about it. Speaking about the Railways he accused that ” the focus of all previous non BJP governments had been improving comfort factor for rich and affluent on Indian trains. That is why the Rajdhani trains, the Duranto etc. We shall endeavour to make train facilities for poor” he said without mentioning any specific projects. He also did not refer to the accidents and safety factor of railways, which has been a cause of concern.
He patted the Indian government’s – and Sushma Swarj’ – successful rescue of ‘poor Indian woman and men’ caught in the war zones of Yemen. “They were at it night and day. A tweet to Sushma at midnight asking for help was attended to in two hours” he claimed.
More than opposition leaders, he targeted the media often saying that they like to focus on the negative and do not convey good news to people.
Speaking tangentially about land acquisition bill they want passed, he said land was needed so that every Indian could get a home within 20 years. “There are more homeless Indians now than at the time of independence. Who cares for them?” Modi asked.
On the other hand, he said he would not repeat UPA’s populist schemes that emptied government coffers.
“Have pateince, give us time, you will see results of policies we have set in which will show results whether we remain in power or not” he ended.