PM hails constructive criticism on govt's performance

NEW DELHI
28 May 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today welcomed the analyses being done in various media fora about the performance of his three-year-old government, saying "constructive criticism" strengthens the democracy. He said some opinion polls and surveys have appreciated his government's work, some have supported it while some others have highlighted the drawbacks. Appreciating this exercise being conducted over the last one month in the run-up to completion of his government's three years on May 26, he said he believes that in a democracy, the government should be answerable. "Constructive criticism strengthens the democracy. For a lively democracy, such exercises are immensely important," the prime minister said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'. He noted that the surveys have assessed in detail his government's performance on all fronts and said it was a "great exercise". The prime minister said he believes that in a democracy, a government must present its report card to the people. "Three years back, you (people) had given me the responsibility of the 'pradhan sevak' (prime servant). There have been several surveys and opinion polls. I consider this entire exercise healthy," Modi said. "I thank those who have given critical and important feedback.... I greatly value such exercises... It provides an opportunity to correct the weaknesses and the drawbacks that may be there," Modi said. From the result of these surveys, the government can take lessons and move ahead, he added. Modi, who led the BJP to a massive victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was sworn-in as the prime minister on May 26 that year. Answering the critics of his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he had not thought it would be viewed politically when he launched the programme more than two years back. He said through the programme, he had "become like a member of every household" of the country, conversing with "my family" about routine issues. He said that like "an ordinary citizen", he too gets influenced by good or bad things. "Some people take Mann Ki Baat as a monologue and some criticise it from a political angle," Modi said in his radio programme, the first after the completion of three years of his government. He was clearly answering criticism by the opposition parties which have been alleging that he only says what he wants to and does not listen to the people's voices. "When I started 'Mann Ki Baat', I had not thought so," he said about the programme launched on October 2, 2014. Through the programme, he said he felt like he was conversing with "my family while sitting at home". He added that there are many families who have written to him these very feelings. The prime minister then referred to the launch by President Pranab Mukherjee of an analytical book on 'Mann Ki Baat' two days back in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a number of other dignitaries. Expressing gratitude to the President, the Vice President and the Speaker, he said, "As an ordinary citizen and as an individual, this was very inspirational event for me." He said the event had given a new dimension to Mann Ki Baat . While talking about the book, he had praise for Akbar, an artist living in Abu Dhabi, who had offered to sketch the topics on which various episodes of Mann Ki Baat without taking a single rupee. "Akbar sahab transformed Mann Ki Baat into art as a gesture of his love. I am grateful to Akbar Sahab," Modi said. During the 30-minute programme, he also emphasised the importance of preserving the environment, laid thrust on cleanliness and waste management, spoke about the importance of yoga and talked about freedom fighters. (PTI)