Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been leading the country since 2014; and for his second term, he was able to ensure that his party won the faith of the people by an even bigger margin. This was made possible by a series of social welfare schemes and pathbreaking policy decisions which his Government took towards building a vibrant New India that is the toast of the entire world.
In sharp contrast to the 10-year term of Manmohan Singh, often described as a ‘reluctant Prime Minister’ for his indecisive attitude, PM Modi took quick and bold decisions. Some of the momentous decisions he took are: demonetisation of high-value currency notes, GST implementation, merger of the Railway Budget with the main Budget and carrying out some overdue reforms. At the same time, he launched pro-people schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujwala Yojana and many others, in the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode.
One of the key initiatives of the Modi Government has been the launch in 2015 of the ‘Housing for All’ scheme, which was later renamed as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Under the scheme, affordable housing is provided to the urban poor with a target of building two crore affordable houses by March this year.
Modi’s popularity rose manifold and he won the second term in 2019 with a bigger majority. In the second term also, he has continued with his epochmaking decisions while also widening the scope of his welfare schemes.
On August 5, 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah got a historic Bill passed in Parliament to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir, with a view to bringing the state into the national mainstream. The Government also announced the splitting of the state into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
The construction of Ram Temple was in the manifesto of the BJP and the poll promise is now well on its way to being fulfilled. PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the new Ram Temple in August 2020. As per the latest information, it will be ready by 2023 and inaugurated on January 24, 2024, a few months before the next General Elections. The BJP is proud that Ram Lalla will finally be reinstated in the garbha griha fulfilling the emotions of crores of Hindus in the country. As India marks its 75th year of independence, the Government has launched an umbrella programme, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, which is being celebrated across the country. The programme recognises all those who contributed to India’s struggle for freedom and also highlights the contribution of the unsung heroes of the nation.
From programmes that are being organised by the Ministry of Culture to the Film Festival at Cannes, where India was the Country of Honour, the country under PM Modi has shown its prowess as a democracy and also demonstrated its rich cultural heritage. It was during the first wave of Covid-19 that PM Modi announced free ration for the marginalised section of society. The scheme was extended during the second wave and was extended yet again for another six months, till March this year. Through this scheme, 80 crore beneficiaries were given free ration each month.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government launched the nationwide vaccination programme in the tough times of pandemic. Considered to be the world’s largest vaccination drive, India achieved a major milestone on July 17 this year when its cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage crossed the 200-crore mark, 18 months after vaccinations began in the country on January 16 last year. India has also managed to vaccinate most of its adolescent population between 15 to 18 years of age. The country has also been successfully running its campaign for precaution dose to its adult citizens. India also won plaudits for developing indigenous vaccines in the shortest possible time. The country not just vaccinated its population but also extended a helping hand to neighbouring nations by providing vaccines through the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ scheme.
The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is a national public health insurance fund established by the Modi Government that aims to provide free access to health insurance coverage to low-income earners in the country. More than 22 crore people have registered in the scheme, according to last reports.
Under PM Modi’s bold leadership, Operation Devi Shakti was launched in Afghanistan to rescue stranded Indians after the Taliban took over the beleaguered nation. More than 700 people were evacuated from Afghanistan as part of the operation. Another key achievement of the Government has been the rescue operation carried out in war-hit Ukraine. India safely evacuated around 23,000 students, including some foreign nationals, from the East European country which is still in the midst of war with Russia. Four Union ministers were sent as special envoys to Ukraine to monitor the Herculean rescue operations.
The Modi Government also displayed immense maturity by rolling back the controversial farm laws against which farmers had launched a nationwide agitation. While making the announcement about the withdrawal of the three laws, the Prime Minister said it was unfortunate that he was not able to explain the benefit of reforms to the farmers.
The BJP, under PM Modi’s leadership, also tasted electoral success in several states. Though the party has failed to realise its dream of winning West Bengal, it saw a huge rise in its vote percentage and its number of seats in the state Assembly has jumped from a paltry three to over 70.
The year 2022 has been particularly good for the BJP in terms of electoral politics. The party registered a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh while coming back to government in Manipur, Uttarakhand and Goa. Recently, it was also able to return to power in Maharashtra after a gap of three years following a major split in Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena