Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands DK Joshi ji , my cabinet colleagues Jyotiraditya Scindia ji, VK Singh ji, my Parliamentary colleagues, all other dignitaries, and my brothers and sisters from Andaman and Nicobar Islands !
Even though today’s event is taking place in Port Blair, the eyes of the whole nation are pinned on this event. For a long time, there was a demand from the people of Andaman & Nicobar to increase the capacity of Veer Savarkar Airport. And our previous MP used to come to my chamber every week to work on this matter. So today he seems to be extremely delighted and I can see all my old friends on the screen. It would have been better if I could have joined you physically today and participated in this celebration. But I could not come due to lack of time, but I can see the joy on all your faces. I can feel the joyous atmosphere.
And the people from all over the country who wanted to visit this place also had the same wish. So far the capacity of the existing terminal could handle 4000 tourists every day. After the construction of the new terminal, this airport has the capacity to handle about 11,000 tourists every day. Under the new system, now 10 aircrafts will be able to be parked simultaneously at the airport. That means the path has been opened for new flights here. More flights and more tourists coming here directly means more and more employment opportunities. In this new terminal building of Port Blair, Ease of Travel will be enhanced, Ease of Doing Business will increase and connectivity will also get better. I congratulate the people of the country and all the friends from Port Blair for this facility.
For a long time, the scope of development in India was limited to a few major cities or a few regions. Due to the selfish politics of some parties, the benefits of development did not reach the far-flung areas of the country. These parties used to give priority only to those projects that benefitted them personally and their families. As a result, our tribal areas and the islands remained deprived of development and were yearning for development.
In the last 9 years, we have rectified those mistakes of the previous governments with full sensitivity. Moreover, we have also developed new systems. Now a new model of development has developed in India. This model is of inclusion, taking everyone along. This model is called ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’. And when I say ‘Sabka Vikas’ or development of all – its meaning is very broad. ‘Sabka Vikas’ means development of every person, every class, every area. Sabka Vikas means- development of every aspect of life, education, health, connectivity, so development of all in every way.
With this thinking, a new saga of development has been written in Andaman & Nicobar in the last 9 years. In the 9 years of the previous government, that is, the government that was before us, a budget of about Rs 23 thousand crore was allotted to Andaman-Nicobar. Whereas during our government’s regime, a budget of about Rs 48 thousand crore has been allocated for the development of Andaman-Nicobar in 9 years. That is, our government has spent twice as much money as before for the development of Andaman-Nicobar.
In the 9 years of the previous government, 28 thousand houses in Andaman-Nicobar were connected with water supply. In the 9 years of our government’s regime, water connections have been provided to about 50 thousand houses here. That is, to provide water connections to every household, our government has worked twice as fast as before.
Today almost every person here has their own bank accounts. Today, every poor here has got the facility of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’. There was not even a single medical college in Andaman-Nicobar during the previous government’s regime. It is our government which has established a medical college in Port Blair.
During the previous government’s regime, the internet in Andaman-Nicobar was dependent on satellites only. Our government has solved this problem by laying many kilometres of submarine optical fibre cable under the sea.
This development of facilities in Andaman & Nicobar is giving an impetus to the tourism sector here. When mobile connectivity is enhanced, the number of tourists also increases. When the health infrastructure improves, the tourist inflow increases further. When the facilities at the airport are improved, tourists like to visit this place. When the roads are of good quality, the tourists spend more time in the area. That is why the number of tourists coming to Andaman and Nicobar has now doubled as compared to 2014.
The number of tourists coming here for adventures like snorkelling, scuba diving, and sea-cruise is also increasing. And my brothers and sisters of Andaman and Nicobar, this is just the beginning. This number is going to increase manifold in the coming years. Due to this, new possibilities of employment and self-employment are going to be created in Andaman & Nicobar.
Today Andaman & Nicobar is turning into a living example of this great mantra – Virasat Bhi Aur vikas Bhi’ i.e. heritage as well as development. You are also aware that the tricolour was hoisted in Andaman and Nicobar much before it was hoisted at the Red Fort. But despite that traces of slavery were still visible here.
In the year 2018, I was fortunate to have hoisted the tricolour at the same place in Andaman where Netaji Subhas had hoisted the flag. It is our government which named Ross Island after Netaji Subhas. It is our government which has named Havelock and Neil Islands as Swaraj and Shaheed Islands. We have named 21 islands after the brave sons who demonstrated valour for the country, i.e. the Paramveer Chakra winners. Today, these islands of Andaman & Nicobar are giving new inspiration to the youth of the whole country for the development of the country.
In the 75 years after independence, our country India could have reached great heights and I am saying this with immense responsibility. It could have reached great heights. There has never been any dearth of potential in us Indians. But the corrupt and family-oriented parties have always done injustice to this capability of the Indians, the common man. Today, the people of the country have once again made up their minds to bring back our government in the 2024 elections. They have taken that decision already. In such a scenario, some people responsible for the plight of India have started their dirty business. Looking at them, I am reminded of a few lines from a poem. A poet had written in Awadhi. This is a poem written in Awadhi language-
”गायित कुछ है, हाल कुछ है, लेबिल कुछ है, माल कुछ है”
It is very apt for the 26 political parties who have come together for the 2024 elections.
”गायित कुछ है, हाल कुछ है, लेबिल कुछ है, और माल कुछ है”
That is, someone is singing the song, but the truth is something else. The label is someone else’s, while the product is something else. This is the reality of their business. Two things are guaranteed in their shops. Firstly, they sell the poison of casteism in their shop. And second, these people indulge in unlimited corruption. These days these people have gathered in Bengaluru.
Once upon a time there was a very famous song, I don’t remember it completely, but in bits and pieces – People wear different masks on a single face. These people have different faces. When these people come together in a single frame in front of the camera, the first thought that comes to the mind of the people of the country is – corruption worth lakhs of crores of rupees. That’s why the people of the country are saying that this is a ‘perfect corruption conference’. These people have been singing something else but the situation is something different. They have placed the labels on something else while their products are something different. Their product is a guarantee of Rs 20 lakh crore scam.
There is one more speciality of this meeting. If someone is out on bail in a multi-crore scam, he is looked upon with great respect. If the entire family is out on bail, then they are respected even more. If an incumbent minister of a party goes to jail due to a corruption case, he is given extra marks and is invited as a ‘special invitee’. If someone insults a community, and is punished by the court, then he receives a lot of hospitality. If someone has been found guilty in a multi-crore scam by the court, then he becomes even more qualified to attend this meeting. Rather, these people seek guidance from him. There is great affinity and great love among them for corruption. That’s why these people, who guarantee corruption of Rs 20 lakh crore, are meeting each other with great love and affection.
All of them involved in corruption are staunch supporters of the dynastic system – Whatever the family says is right. For democracy it is believed – Of the People, By the People, For the People. But the mantra of these people supporting dynastic politics – ‘Of the family, By the family, For the family’. ‘Family First, Nation Nothing’ is the motto of these people. This is their inspiration.
These people want to make the country’s democracy and the constitution their hostage. I would like to tell them… ‘there is hatred, there are scams. There is appeasement and crookedness. The country has been in the grips of a dynastic system for decades.
It is not the development of the children of the country’s poor that matters to them, but the development of their own children, their brothers and nephews always was their priority. Nowadays you see that the number of start-ups is rising in the country. Our youngsters are getting patents; trademarks are being registered in large numbers; the youth of my country are dominating the sports world and daughters are creating wonders!
This youth power was there in our country even before, but these dynastic parties never did justice to the power of the youth of the country. They have only one ideology, only one agenda – save the family, and keep corruption alive for the family! Their common minimum program is to stop the development of the country, to cover up their misgovernance and to stop action against the corrupt.
Now see, this group that has gathered becomes speechless when it comes to the biggest scams and crimes committed by them. When their misrule in any one state is exposed, these people from their group from other states immediately start providing arguments in their defence. But if there is a flood scam somewhere or someone is kidnapped, then all the people of this clan become silent.
You have seen that Panchayat elections were held in West Bengal just a few days ago. There was open violence and reckless bloodshed. All of them have stopped speaking even on this matter. The workers of Congress and Left parties are trying to save themselves. But the leaders of Congress and Left, in their selfishness, have left their workers alone to fend for themselves.
Whether it is about the daughters being tortured in Rajasthan or examination papers being leaked, they turn a blind eye to everything. When those who betray the public by talking about change are involved in liquor scams worth crores, this family again starts giving cover to them. They turn a blind eye to that blatant corruption.
When any agency of the country acts on them, they have the same thing to say each time – “nothing has happened…everything is a conspiracy, we are being framed”. If you look at Tamil Nadu, several cases of corruption and scams are coming to the fore. But all the parties of this clan have already given a clean chit to everyone. That is why friends keep identifying these people and get to know them. Be careful of these people, brothers and sisters!
Amidst the conspiracies of these people, we have to dedicate ourselves to the development of the country. There are many examples in the world today, where islands and small landlocked countries have made unprecedented progress. When these nations had chosen the path of progress, they too had faced various challenges.
Not everything was simple, but those countries have shown that when development takes place, it brings along all kinds of solutions. I am sure, the development work being done in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands will further strengthen this entire region. I hope this new facility related to connectivity, i.e. the new terminal of Veer Savarkar International Airport will be beneficial for all.
With this wish, I thank you for coming in such large numbers to this video conference event. I can feel your joy and enthusiasm even from here.
On such an occasion, the country should move forward with a new belief and a new resolve. And I hope that Andaman-Nicobar moves forward with it. With this wish, my best wishes to all of you, heartiest thanks!