The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Modi map to scale newer heights

Gandhinagar, Dec. 25: Victory celebrations over, chief minister Narendra Modi is in a hurry to get down to business.

His new mantra is “clean administration and good governance”, along with rule of law and efficient work culture.

At his first news conference today after being sworn in, Modi spelled out some of the broad policy guidelines of his government.

After aggressively pursuing Hindutva, Modi today tried hard to project himself as a man who can deliver and lead “Gujarat’s march to new heights of progress”. He said he wanted to make Gujarat a modern and strong state “with the participation of 5 crore Gujaratis. My government promises 5 crore Gujaratis the right to live with dignity and self-respect in a peaceful, prosperous, safe and secure state without fear”.

But he had nothing to say about the minority community, some of who are still jittery.

While spelling out his government’s long-term and short-term priorities, Modi said that to boost work rate, improve work culture and results, government officers will be encouraged to become “karmayogis”. There will be rewards for the best employees and penalty for shirkers.

A clause of responsibility and accountability for bureaucrats would be introduced to help provide people a transparent and clean administration.

For speedy all-round development, the state proposes to set up a “think-tank” called “Budhhisagar Parishad”. It will consist of experts and professionals who would contribute to the collective intellectual wealth of the state, he said.

The keys to the state’s progress, said Modi, are water, energy and knowledge. And accordingly, he has prepared a roadmap for the next five years.

During this period, he said he would ensure that no village continues to suffer from water shortage and the state’s parched lands are made fertile.

He also plans to set up a high power reforms committee to ensure that the state generates adequate electricity at affordable cost. A proper synchronisation of thermal and hydroelectric power could change the state’s face, he said.

Other ambitious projects on the drawing board relate to the coastline and agriculture. The state’s long coastline would be developed to boost cargo traffic and tourism. Farmers would be exposed to the latest methods of scientific farming, irrigation, and agro-processing.

While iterating the need to strengthen internal security, Modi did not talk today about training youths to form shaktigrams in the border areas. This is something the BJP had promised in its manifesto.

A multimedia presentation was webcast after the press conference.

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