Time changing, power now in hand of commoners, not elites: Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made a veiled attack on Congress and some other parties, saying “new ruling elites”, born after Independence, controlled politics for generations but the time was changing and people from rural backgrounds were now occupying high constitutional positions.

Addressing the valedictory function of New India Conclave, he also congratulated young Indians for heralding an era of development in the country and said it was the youth that propelled to change the ongoing constitutional mechanism.

“There was a time when ruling was in the hands of royal family. New ruling elites were born after Independence and they controlled politics for also three generations. The ruling had been in the control of only some families. But the situation has been changed now.

“The President, Vice President and me also reached on these posts from rural backgrounds after being elected through an democratic electoral process. And this shows how the country’s people and there thinking have changed,” Modi said, citing leaders like Yogi Adityanath, Biplab Deb, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Nitish Kumar, Manohar Lal Khattar and Raghubar Das, who were from very common families, but have reached high posts.

Modi said the country is passing through an era of transformation. “In last four years the country has been trying to touch new heights of 21st century. Gone are the days when India was considered to be among the ‘fragile five’. Today, we are the fastest growing economy in the world. Powered by the 125 crore people of India, we will grow even faster.

“New India concept belong to its 125 crore Indians but Young India is its base. Just like the aspirations and power of the youth, India is doing big, transformative things. Now, India is ready to take off.”

Noting “Young India” feels anything is possible and everything is achievable, he said: “This spirit will drive India’s growth.”

Modi said this is not India but a new India “where the power of hope prevails over mindless hate” and “125 crore Indians write their own destiny”.

“New India is the place where processes drive progress instead of people influencing processes, where the government belongs to everyone instead of everything belonging to the government. New India is that land where you make your name, your name does not make you, where your ideas matter not your influence, where opportunities await instead of obstacles, where a billion aspirations find free flowing expression,” he said.

He said when the future of every citizen improves, the future of India and stature of India in the world improves. “When we bring more FDI, we create more industries in India. When we create more industries, we create more employment opportunities. When we create more employment opportunities, we empower the youth to improve their future.”

“We are future-proofing India in every way, enabling New India to take off,” said Modi.

The Prime Minister emphasised on the need of making youths skilled and connect rural area from internet and new technology.

“India needs villages connected with i-ways. We have laid 2.7 lakh km of optical fiber network connecting more than a lakh Gram Panchayats.”

Modi also said there was need for “clean economy” and “increased digital payments and innovations like BHIM App are taking us there.”

“India needs a unified and simplified tax structure – GST was for that. India needs to unlock the power of air travel – UDAN is to get even the poor to fly. India needs great road infrastructure – Bharatmala is building thousands of kilometres of roads for it. India needs port-led development – Sagarmala is helping build infrastructure for it. India needs to go digital in public service delivery – JAM trinity got us there.”