Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that he took Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s claim that he was a “bhagidaar”, or collaborator or partner, as a compliment. “These days I am dubbed a ‘bhagidaar’, not a ‘chowkidar’ [watchman],” Modi said at an event in Lucknow. “I feel honoured to be a ‘bhagidaar’ of the problems of the poor.”
“I have no hesitation in saying that under pressure from the prime minister, [Defence Minister] Nirmala Sitharaman spoke untruth to the people,” Gandhi said during the debate over the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha on July 20, referring to the Rafale jet deal between India and France. He said Modi had promised to become a watchman against corruption but became a collaborator.
“I am a ‘bhagidaar’ of that poor family which is forced to sell land for medical treatment, of the homeless, of illiterate children, and of the unemployed,” Modi replied on Saturday, according to PTI. The prime minister, speaking at an event to mark the third anniversary of three government initiatives on urban development, said the government will provide everyone a house by 2022.
“By 2022, we will try to ensure that everyone has a house,” he said. “In order to meet this target, the government has approved 54 lakh houses in the cities and also provided more than one crore houses to people in villages.”
The prime minister claimed that Uttar Pradesh governments prior to the Adityanath dispensation only wanted to decorate their bungalows. Modi also blamed the former Congress governments for unplanned urban development.
“The population was allowed to expand in an unplanned manner,” Modi alleged. “Concrete jungles were allowed to grow. Today, the entire country is bearing the brunt.”
The prime minister enumerated five Es for future generations: “We are bound to build a system for future generations, where life is based on five Es: ease of living, education, employment, economy and entertainment.”