Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha election took many by surprise, especially in the Lutyens Media. Several among the opposition asked the rhetorical question — Modi ne kya kiya? (What has Modi done?) — to cast him in a bad light. They were oblivious to the intense development undertaken by PM Modi that touched millions of citizens, many for the first time.
Some TV interviews feature journalists asking villagers what PM Modi did to get their votes — Bolo, Modi ne kya kiya tere liye? (Tell us, what has Modi done for you?) — in blatant attempts to provoke them and get negative answers. However, villagers all over India were emphatic in their response about why they wanted PM Modi back for another five years. They have witnessed the changes through their own eyes.
A lot of them have had direct benefits. Interestingly, some of the individuals answering the journalists hadn’t received direct benefit themselves but knew of someone who had. They enthusiastically said, ‘mere padosi ko gas connection mila hain (my neighbor got gas connection)’, ‘woh gaon main ab bijli hain (that village now has electricity)’, ‘hamne dekha hain (I have seen it)’, and most importantly ‘vishwas hain ki hamebhi milega (I trust that I will also get all this)’. The re-election is testimony to the benefits many Indians have received in the last five years.
So how do we answer this question — Modi ne kya kiya? With data, of course!
Under PM Modi’s leadership in the 2014-19 term, the NDA-I government grew the GDP by an estimated INR 78 lakh crore in nominal terms, a growth of 69.2 per cent over five years at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 10.9 per cent. The estimated per capita GDP grew from INR 0.9 lakh in 2014 to INR 1.45 lakh in 2019, a growth of 59.7 per cent in five years — the largest growth witnessed in our recent history.
Data from ESI (Employees’ State Insurance), EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) and other sources like sale of vehicles show one crore jobs are being created every year in India. In these five years, providing basic amenities to the poor was prioritized and the results are staggering.
No other Prime Minister of India has done so much for the poor in one five-year term as PM Modi has. He is ensuring every Indian has access to the basic necessities of life:
1. A roof over their head — 1.53 crore homes were built post 2014, a majority of them in the rural areas.
2. A toilet in the house — Individual household latrine (IHHL) coverage is now over 99 per cent, up from 38.7 per cent in 2014. In five years, 9.67 crore latrines were built, and 94.08 per cent villages and 28 states have been declared as ODF (open defecation free).
3. Power in their switches — 100% electrification was achieved in 988 days covering 17,181 villages, up from around 96.7 per cent in 2014. 2.5 crore poor households were electrified, and the work to provide reliable power continues.
4. Food on the table — Food security coverage has been extended to all 36 states/UTs of India from just the 11 states/UTs in 2014 as per the National Food Security Act, under which the government is supplying 5 kg of food grain each per month to over 80 crore people at a highly subsidised price.
5. Gas connection in the kitchen — 13 crore gas connections were distributed in five years, bringing the total to around 25 crore. Of these, 7.19 crore connections have been provided free to rural women, enabling them to cook smoke-free and improving their health dramatically.
6. Rural road connectivity — Today 91 per cent of villages are connected with roads, up from 56 per cent in 2014.
7. Access to education — Apart from schools, enrolment in higher education has also jumped from 3.23 crore in 2014 to 3.66 crore in 2018. More Indians, including women, are aspiring to becoming graduates. The Gross Enrolment Ratio of women has risen from 22.0 in 2014 to 25.4 in 2018. It is essential to create eligible jobs for all of them now.
8. Mobile phones — TRAI data shows the wireless subscriber base in March 2019 was 1.16 billion, up from 0.9 billion in 2014. Of this, 511.3 million are in the rural areas. Access to mobiles has transformed how people in the rural areas (and urban) do business and earn a livelihood.
9. Access to Internet and digital platforms — The Internet subscriber base, per TRAI, has increased from 251.6 million in 2014 to 563.3 million in March 2019. Apart from this, 1.19 lakh gram panchayats have been connected with optical fiber for citizens to access their bank accounts and DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) digitally.
10. Bank accounts — Through the Jan Dhan Yojana, 35.65 crore bank accounts were opened in five years. Total deposits have crossed INR 90,000 crores. Over 53 per cent holders are women.
11. Direct Benefit Transfer — DBT has enabled the government to provide INR 7.3 lakh crore for 439 schemes over the last five years, directly to citizens’ Jan Dhan bank accounts.
12. Small business loans — Through MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency), loans worth more than INR 8.6 lakh crore have been disbursed to more than 18.2 crore beneficiaries to start their own businesses and aspire for a better life.
13. Insurance cover — Since 2014, 21.68 crore people have availed insurance for accident and disability coverage, life insurance, and so on.
14. Farmer insurance — Over 14.24 crore insurance covers have been provided with increased distress relief for crop damage.
15. Affordable healthcare — Ayushmann Bharat was launched in September 2018 to provide health insurance cover of INR 5 lakh/family/year. In 9 months, over 25 lakh people have received free medical treatment worth over INR 3,400 crore. The plan is to benefit 50 crore citizens.
16. Clean water — While piped water supply hasn’t reached everyone yet, this is one of the first mandates taken up by the NDA-II government.
Clearly, millions of Indians — especially in rural areas — saw development in action when these basic amenities reached their villages and houses. Working for their upliftment translated into the electorate voting PM Modi back to power for another five-year term — to continue fulfilling his promises.
Hopefully, by 2020, all Indians will have access to basic necessities and will have risen out poverty. The 2019–24 term will be about improving the quality of life, investing in growth and the judicial system, ensuring more well-paying jobs are being created, and instituting an environment of safety and security for all Indians.
India has dramatically changed in the last five years. No longer do Indian voters seem to be moved by caste, religion and other such considerations. PM Modi’s move to ban triple talaq reportedly won him 15-20 per cent of Muslim women’s vote. In Assam, a leader of a communal Muslim party said in an interview that he did not get the expected number of MP seats because many Muslim women did not vote for them.
The voters’ outlook is fixed on economic prosperity, social justice, and development, and the numbers establish that PM Modi definitely made an impact by accelerating development and economic prosperity. The Indian people are honest about what they are witnessing and that is why they voted in large numbers for Modi 2.0.
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