Nadda says 'atmanirbhar Bharat' will not mark a return to license quota raj

Nadda said the PM took the decision to enforce a nationwide lockdown at a “suitable juncture”.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president J P Nadda on Saturday said the prime minister’s call for ‘atmanirbhar’, or a self-reliant India does not mark a return to the ‘license quota raj’ of the past.

Addressing an online press conference to mark the first year of the current tenure of the government, Nadda said ‘atmanirbhar Bharat’ is a call to encourage Indian industry in a progressive way, and will not be a return to the regressive economic policies of the past.

"The objective of 'atmanirbhar Bharat' will be progressive, to encourage our entrepreneurial class. We don't intend to carry the negativity of the past or return to the era of 'license quota permit raj'. Our approach will be progressive, not regressive," Nadda said.

Nadda was asked how the government would ensure ‘atmanirbhar Bharat’ does not lead to the ‘license quota raj’ of the Indira Gandhi years. There are fears that the call for 'self-reliant India', which the PM renewed in his letter to the people of the country issued today, might lead to a repeat of the import substitution era.

The BJP chief listed the achievements of the government, stating that while it’s been a “year of accomplishments, but also that of facing unimaginable challenges” with the spread of corona virus pandemic. “This government has been responsive, receptive and has the capacity to take decisions,” Nadda said.

On the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Nadda said India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has fought the battle far better than several prosperous countries, whose health infrastructure has collapsed while India’s has stood the test.

Nadda said the PM took the decision to enforce a nationwide lockdown at a “suitable juncture”. He said health infrastructure has been augmented, and 50,000 ventilators purchased from the PM-Cares fund. He noted that the Rs 20 trillion economic package will help the people, particularly the increased allocation for MNREGS.

Nadda said BJP’s workers have distributed 140 million food packets under its ‘feed the needy’ effort and 50 million face masks in the last couple of months. The BJP has planned 2000 public rallies and 250 virtual meetings on the occasion of the completion of a year of the government.

Nadda said the party is keeping connect with the people with regular virtual meetings with workers at the booth level, and indicated that the Bihar Assembly polls could also need all political parties relying on the digital medium to reach out to people.

On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government’s handling of coronavirus challenge, Nadda said Gandhi’s understanding of subjects is superficial and he ends up issuing contradictory statements. “His statements are for politics and political ends and nothing to with addressing the coronavirus crisis, but the people of the country understand,” he said.

The BJP chief said the first year was marked by decisive steps, including scrapping provisions of Article 370, law on triple talaq and paving the way for the construction of a Ram temple with the Supreme Court’s judgment, which the “Congress stalled for years”.

Nadda said the Citizenship Amendment Act has provided succour to the religiously persecuted minorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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