Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that Indian citizenship for people facing persecution in their own countries will ensure a better tomorrow for them, Hindustan Times reported. The remarks came at a time when leaders of Opposition parties, and groups in the North East have strongly protested against the Citizenship Amendment Bill that will be tabled during the ongoing Parliament session.

“We practice politics of performance not politics of promises,” Modi said, addressing the inaugural event of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi. “Every government should feel the pressure to perform. We have taken the pressure onto ourselves. We have taken the pressure onto ourselves.”

The prime minister said that the target of a $5 trillion economy was connected to providing a better future to all Indians. This will enhance ease of living, Modi said, adding that his government will enable and promote it with its maxim of reform and perform.

Modi said that his administration had displayed courage with the merger of banks that helped in recapitalisation. The prime minister said there was pressure on the banking sector and that the Centre will work towards improving it. “I do not run away from responsibilities,” he said.

India had improved its place in the list of ease of doing business, the prime minister said. The country jumped 14 spots to rank 63 out of 190 nations, with a Doing Business score of 71 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.

The prime minister also criticised previous governments for ignoring certain parts of the country, and said that people in a few districts had been left to fend for themselves. Kalahandi in Odisha, Gumla in Jharkhand, Begusarai in Bihar, Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, Bastar in Chhattisgarh, and more such districts were being developed as “aspirational districts”, Modi added. He said 112 districts had been identified for this purpose.

The prime minister highlighted the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict, and said that it proved that the country cannot be tied to the past, and can therefore have a better tomorrow. On November 9, the Supreme Court had ordered a trust to be set to oversee the construction of a Ram temple at the site while the Muslims were offered a separate five-acre plot elsewhere in the city for the construction of a mosque.

On revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, Modi said the decision had brought “new hope for lakhs of people” of the region. The Modi-led administration on August 5 rescinded the special constitutional status provided to the erstwhile state and split it into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. They came into existence on October 31.