Pointing out how under the BJP-led government, crores of bank accounts were opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) which was not acknowledged by the Congress, which criticised the scheme, Modi said, "Jab main bank khaate khulwata tha tab yeh buddhimaan log bhashan dete the ki desh main bank nahi hain gareeb kya karenge. Yeh log jo sattar saal tak gareebo ka bank main khaata nahi khulwa paay wo ab kehte hain ki tumhare khaate main paisa daalenge. Koi bharosa karega kya? Jo khaata nahi khulwa sakta who khaate main paisa daalenge kya?" (When I was getting the banks accounts opened these "intelligent" people said that there are no banks in the country, what will poor people do. These people who could not get poor people a bank account in 70 years are now saying that they will give money in these accounts. Will anyone believe them? Those who could not get the poor a bank account, how will they get them their money)."
On 25 March, Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised a minimum income guarantee scheme called Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Rahul said that if the Congress comes to power, the party will ensure that 20 percent of the poor families in India get Rs 72,000 annually. According to the Congress, the minimum income support scheme will be "rolled out in phases". Though Rahul claimed that this "is an extremely powerful, ground-breaking and well-thought idea", the BJP has dubbed it as a 'populist' measure announced just before the elections to attract the voters.
Comparing NYAY with PMJDY, Modi said that the central scheme is to ensure universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility. In addition, the beneficiaries would get a RuPay Debit card having inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh.
PMJDY, launched in August 2014, was a target-oriented and time-bound financial inclusion scheme aimed at opening 7.5 crore bank accounts initially. However, as on 26 December, 2018, 33.66 crore accounts were opened under the scheme. Out of these accounts, 28.16 crore PMJDY accounts are operative accounts.
Rahul's claim that Congress' 'minimum income scheme' is 'a final assault' on power was also slammed by the prime minister. Taking a swipe at former prime minister Indira Gandhi's 'Garibi Hatao' slogan, Modi said that he has been hearing this slogan since he was a child and "have come to the conclusion that only way to actually remove poverty is by removing Congress itself."
"When I was 8-10 years old, I used to hear the talks of eradicating poverty. When I was 20-22-years-old, Indira Gandhi used to say that she will remove poverty. After that, the next four generations said the same thing. They kept moving ahead but the poor were stuck in the same misery and remained poor. Congress failed in removing poverty. Remove Congress from every corner of India to remove poverty," said Modi.
Not sparing the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Modi coined an acronym to attack them. He said, "The 'SA' of Samajwadi Party, the 'RA' of RLD and the 'B' of Bahujan Samaj Party together form 'SARAB' (alcohol) which is very bad for health".
Also, reiterating his 'chowkidar' narrative, the prime minister tweaked his 'saabka saath, saabka vikas' slogan, making it 'saabka saath, saabka hisaab' to stress that anyone involved in corruption will be dealt with.
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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 15:49:54 IST