New Delhi, May 26, 2016: The government is two today and Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where he will address a public rally to launch celebrations. The highlight will be a mega show at Delhi’s India Gate on Saturday.
The rally in Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due early next year, is only the first in a series that the PM will address. He will visit Shillong tomorrow, Dhavalgiri in Karnataka on May 29, Balasore, Odisha, on June 2, and also Rajasthan.
At a meeting on Wednesday, PM Modi spoke for about 10 minutes asking his ministers to focus on the government’s initiatives at the grass roots. He emphasised that there was more scope to make people aware of these initiatives through outreach programmes.
’Transforming India’ is the theme and full-page ads in newspapers on Thursday featured the Prime Minister with the slogan - "My country is changing, it is moving ahead" - and a list of the government’s focus areas.
On Friday, ministers will fan out across the country and will spend the day addressing public meetings where beneficiaries of government schemes and intellectuals and experts will also gather. 33 teams will hold such interactions in 198 cities till June 15.
On Saturday, public broadcaster Doordarshan will telecast live a five-hour mega show - Ek nayi subah or a new morning - from 5 pm onwards to showcase the government’s work in the last two years and discuss the road ahead. A massive stage has been put up near the famous monument in the heart of Delhi.
Plans ran into controversy on Wednesday when the Congress asked why the Modi government had picked as host for the show actor Amitabh Bachchan, whose name figured in the Panama Papers - a list of people with offshore accounts in tax havens.
Mr Bachchan has earlier denied that he violated the country’s laws to park money abroad. The ruling BJP hit back at the Congress, suggesting the opposition party was jealous of Mr Bachchan’s popularity as compared to its leader Rahul Gandhi.
The Delhi show will feature, apart from a number of other Bollywood stars like Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor and Prasoon Joshi, panel discussions on six focus areas of the government.
Top ministers will participate in the discussions related to their departments - like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the discussion on the economy. PM Modi will attend the finale.
Celebrations in seven other cities, with the chief ministers of those states present, will also be telecast live at the same time. Participants will include beneficiaries of the government’s flagship programmes like the Jan Dhan Yojna and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.