Prime Minister Narendra Modi today deconstructed the government's vision of a $5 trillion economy for the layperson as he launched a programme to add more members to the BJP on his second visit to Varanasi after winning the national election. He also took a dig at critics of the big announcement as "professional pessimists".
"What's this $5 trillion economy? There's a lot of buzz around it. What does that target mean to an ordinary Indian? It is important for you to know it and spread the word. Why should India not dream big?" said PM Modi, drawing a reference to the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in parliament on Friday, in which the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced its plan to ensure India becomes a $5 trillion economy in five years.
"To put it in simple terms, to reach $5 trillion, our economy has to nearly double. There are a few who create doubt and say that such a target is beyond India's capability and is not possible for Indians to achieve. But they forget that for us Indians, hardships have never deterred us... I can see in the youth and others too, a fire to take this country to great heights. It is the hardships that make us even stronger, even more determined... You can say some people who are asking why we are doing this ($5 trillion goal) are professional pessimists," said PM Modi, as the audience in the large hall cheered for him and some of them even got up from the seats to shout "Modi ji ki jai".
"Looks like we have a lot of enthusiastic members today," said the Prime Minister, drawing even more applause from the audience. He scanned the audience briefly to check if they were back on their seats. Then he continued: "The developed nations of the world also went through their own struggles to reach where they are today, but it is India's time now."
He said one of the methods of boosting the economy is to see farmers as wealth creators of the nation and not merely as food producers. "We are now looking at farmers are exporters. There is tremendous potential for our farmers to grow exponentially.
Analysts say a shortfall in monsoon rains, pivotal for the farm sector that constitutes about 15 per cent of the economy, employing nearly half of India's workers, has increased concern about rural distress and strengthened the case for government intervention.
The launch of the BJP's membership drive coincides with the birth anniversary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh that eventually went on to become the BJP. The BJP said anyone can join the party by giving a missed call to the number 8980808080.
PM Modi won the national election from the temple town in Uttar Pradesh by a huge margin of 4.79 lakh votes. He visited Varanasi last on May 27 to thank the people of his constituency.
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