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CM speaks on Good Governance through Democracy at Book Launch

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CM speaks on Good Governance through Democracy at Book Launch

Chief Minister spoke on  ‘Good Governance Through Democracy’ at the launch of Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe’s book ‘Beyond a Billion Ballots’ in Mumbai today, 27th June 2013. In an elaborate and inspiring speech, the Chief Minister stressed on the importance of trust and trusteeship in governance.

CM said that in those who serve in the Government are not rulers but are servants (Sevaks) of the people. The Chief Minster affirmed that a Government is a ray of hope for the poor and recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s Mantra of recalling the face of the poor while making tough decisions. “As Mahatma Gandhi said, think if your decision will make that poor person happy and if it does, you are taking the right decision,” he said.

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Shri Modi described trust as the precondition of good governance and he stressed on building institutions rather than concentrating on individuals. He said, “Institutions cannot be people centric. We have made things centered around people…if one family goes away this will happen…but is this our nation? The need is to institutionalize ideas and good practices. We should create network of institutions. A person may be there or not but the framework must remain.” He added, “Stronger these institutions, the better things will work. A person may slip and in those times it is the institutions that saves things.”

Giving an example of this Shri Modi affirmed, “What have we done for years? See how institutions have been broken in Delhi. There was a Planning Commission but then they created the NAC. All economic decisions are done by five star activists and then one PM tells the official PM do this and that is what happens.” Shri Modi went on to add, “Planning Commission was rendered useless due to NAC. Similarly, Article 356 was envisioned to strengthen federal structure but see how it was misused. See the CBI and the level of misuse that can happen. Had I not experienced it myself, I would not even know. Those who cannot accept victory and defeat through democratic means are misusing the CBI. And now, it is CBI vs IB. Does it happen in any nation? Institutions are being broken and just see how. Those companies that came for Vibrant Gujarat Summit get IT notices. They do this on one hand and on the other hand they shout FDI and no investment.” Giving another example of such institutional break down, Shri Modi recalled that in 1983 the Election Commission had warned Mrs. Indira Gandhi against holding elections in Assam but she went on to hold them and the result was the infamous Nellie massacre that killed so many people. Shri Modi opined that in a Federal Structure there is no big brother or small brother but the Centre fights some states much more than they even fight Pakistan.

The Chief Minister stated that more than political interference, what is needed is political intervention. “Political interference harms good governance but political intervention encourages people’s participation,” said the Shri Modi. He also added that had the current leadership in the Centre emerged from the ground, there would be no policy paralysis. He spoke on the importance of Lok Bhagidari and shared that any policy that the Gujarat Government brings out is placed online so that people can see it and give their feedback. He gave the example of Pani Samitis in Gujarat where people participation has mitigated the water crisis and at the same time empowered women in Gujarat. “In Government there is only accountability of commission, no accountability of omission and we need to change that…we need to shift the focus from procedure audit to performance audit.” He affirmed that outcome, rather than output or outlay must be the emphasis.

Shri Modi said that democracy is not merely about giving a contract to some people to work for five years but to come together and work for the nation. He pointed that the biggest strength of a democracy is the opportunity to correct one’s mistakes. He also expressed surprise as to why the anniversary of the Emergency did not receive much attention from the media when it was a time when our Republic was strangled.

Speaking about good governance, Shri Modi recalled that Lokmanya Tilak had said ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it,” but now we should also state, “Su-rajya is our birthright and we must have it.” Shri Modi said that it is incorrect to keep blaming democracy for our problems and he shared that his Gujarat experience has shown that with the same system, laws, officials it is possible to bring change.

Shri Modi congratulated Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for writing the book and said that he has the honour of working with him for the past many years. Speaking on the occasion, former BJP President Shri Nitin Gadkari lauded the work done by Shri Modi in the field of water conservation. Shri Gadkari said that Shri Modi believes in the Mantra of Nation first, then the Party and only then the self. Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Shri Gopinath Munde pointed that Shri Narendra Modi is neither corrupt nor does he tolerate corruption. Referring to the large turnout, Shri Munde said that such a turnout was last seen at the venue when President Clinton visited the place more than a decade ago. Several other BJP leaders were present on the occasion.

Sources: Gujarat Information Bureau / CM site

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