The Narendra Modi government will retain power in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by winning more than 300 seats because it believes in empowerment of people and not appeasement, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Monday.
Addressing the media to mark nine years of Modi rule, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports said "our government believes in sashaktikaran (empowerment) and not tushtikaran (appeasement)".
"That is the reason why we gave 10 per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections. While we believe in serving people, some believe in indulging in politics. We will once again come to power by securing more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha elections," Thakur told reporters.
He said the Centre had constructed 3.5 crore houses for the poor and 11.72 crore toilets, provided 9.6 crore gas connections, given free treatment to more than 60 crore persons and free rations to more than 80 crore persons.
The Congress made records in corruption prior to 2014 while the Bharatiya Janata Party set benchmarks by introducing welfare schemes and creating infrastructure like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in the past nine years, Thakur asserted.
"Before 2014, scams used to emerge at regular intervals. Today, every citizen feels the Modi government is his or her own government. We lifted 27 per cent poor citizens out of poverty. Four generations of Congress shouted the slogan garibi hatao (remove poverty) but did nothing. Our government gave security and dignity to the poor," the minister said.
Reacting to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's contention that inflation has soared under the Modi government, Thakur challenged the former to prove it through data.
"Contrary to what Kharge says, India actually kept its inflation under control in comparison to the rate of inflation in the US and European countries. Despite the fact that there was no global crisis when Congress was in power, the rate of inflation was 12 to 14 per cent in the country," Thakur claimed.
The Congress should see their own data and then talk as during their regime, inflation and corruption were sky high, he added.