Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a strong pitch for a third term for his government, promising to make India the world's third-largest economy with a faster-than-now pace of growth and development.
On a day when the opposition Congress submitted a motion of no-confidence in his government in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister reeled out statistics to showcase the developmental agenda of his government and exuded confidence in eradicating poverty as well as making India a developed nation in the next 25 years.
He slammed naysayers for opposing developmental projects, saying some people have a habit of trying to stall any good work.
Opening a world-class convention and exhibition centre at the site of an outdated Pragati Maidan in the heart of the national capital, Modi said the entire nation was witnessing the result of work done by his government since coming to power in 2014.
He named the 123-acre complex, that will host the G20 Summit in September, Bharat Mandapam.
There is a slugfest between the opposition who have named their coalition as 'INDIA' and Modi's BJP which is trying to identify itself with Bharat while saying India was used by coloniser East India Company and banned organisations like People's Front of India and Indian Muhajadeen.
"At the beginning of our first term, India was the world's 10th-largest economy. In the second term, today India is the fifth largest economy in the world. I assure the country that in the third term, India's name will be among the first three economies of the world," he said.
India has been talked about as the bright spot amid a gloomy world economy.
The country, he said, is witnessing the result of his government's work. "India's development journey is not going to stop."
"India will reach in top three economies of the world. That is Modi's guarantee," he said. "I would also assure the countrymen that in our third term after 2024, the country's development journey will move forward at a faster pace."
Modi government's second term ends in May next year.
Without naming anyone, the Prime Minister slammed naysayers for trying to block development projects. "Bharat Mandapam like infrastructure should have been built decades ago. But only I was destined to construct it," he said.
People with negative attitudes did everything possible to stop its construction, even approaching the courts, he said. "Some people have a tendency to try and stall every good work."
These people, he said, opposed the remodelling of the iconic Rajpath, the site of the annual Republic Day parade, into a more grandeur Kartavya Path. But the same people are privately appreciating the good work and they will some day appreciate Bharat Mandapam and may even come to speak at some event here.
Highlighting achievements of his nine-year tenure, Modi said the number of passengers handling capacity at Delhi airport has gone up from 5 crore annually in 2014 to 7.5 crore.
While the number of airports in the country has increased from 70 to about 150, 40,000 km of rail lines have been electrified in nine years as compared to 20,000 km in the previous 70 years.
City gas infrastructure was present in just 60 cities before 2014 and environment-friendly CNG and piped gas is now available in over 600 towns and cities, he said.
"India can develop, definitely it can. India can remove poverty, it definitely can. And I will tell you the basis behind this belief of mine," Modi said citing a Niti Aayog report that mentioned 13.5 crore people have come out of poverty in just five years.
Modi said now "we have a target for the next 25 years" to make India a developed nation.
"We have set out with the dream of a capable India, a developed India. We have to give India that height, we have to reach that success, which every freedom fighter had dreamed of," he added.
He also announced that the national capital will soon have the world's largest museum - Yuge Yugeen Bharat National Museum.
Modi further said India was building infrastructure at a fast pace, and the country is moving ahead on the principle of 'Think Big, Dream Big, Act Big'.
India is now home to the world's largest solar-wind park, the longest tunnel at 10,000 feet and higher altitude, the largest cricket stadium, the tallest statue, Asia's second-biggest rail-road bridge and highest motorable road, he said.
The Prime Minister said in the last few years the hotel industry has expanded in the Delhi-NCR region, and this Bharat Mandapam will promote the 'conference tourism' ecosystem.
Modi said Lord Basaveshwara's 'Anubhav Mandapam' was the inspiration behind 'Bharat Mandapam'.
Anubhava Mandapam, established in the 12th century, is located in Basavakalyan in the Bidar district of Karnataka. It was the first religious parliament in the world, whose literal meaning is "experience pavilion", and was an academy of mystics, saints and philosophers of the lingayat faith in the 12th century.
The Prime Minister said the world is acknowledging that India is the Mother of Democracy, he said adding democracy was prevalent in the country from Tamil Nadu to Vaishali.
Prime Minister also unveiled a G20 coin and a G20 stamp.