PM Modi says ‘revri culture’ of freebies for votes is ‘very dangerous’

This is the second time in two weeks that PM Modi has sought to redefine political and philosophical theories that define Indian democracy

July 16, 2022 12:47 pm | Updated July 17, 2022 01:11 am IST - Jalaun (Uttar Pradesh)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during inauguration of Bundelkhand expressway, in Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh on July 16.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during inauguration of Bundelkhand expressway, in Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh on July 16. | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 16 cautioned against the culture of distributing freebies for votes. Speaking at the inauguration of Bundelkhand Expressway in Jalaun in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi said the “revri culture” would take the new India towards darkness.

“There are some governments which are indulging in revri culture to secure votes, while the double engine government is working towards creating new expressways and rail routes,” Mr. Modi said. 

The PM described infrastructure development in backward areas as a form of social justice as industrial development and connectivity should not remain a priority only for big cities. “When the double engine government creates expressways, power projects, provides gas, toilets and pucca houses in the backward areas like Bundelkhand, it leads to true social justice,” he said.

Also read:U.P. to push India’s growth story: PM Modi

This is the second time in two weeks that the PM has sought to redefine political and philosophical theories that define Indian democracy.

Earlier this month, while delivering the Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, Mr. Modi had said that real growth and inclusion were complementary, and said the government was treating the private sector as partners in growth. “Is real growth possible without inclusion? Can inclusion be thought of without growth?” he questioned.

Reiterating what he said in Deoghar recently, Mr. Modi said his government has steered clear of the short-cut culture of providing freebies in lieu of votes. “We have introduced a new political culture where we inaugurate the projects that we announce during the tenure,” Mr. Modi said, citing the Kashi-Vishwanath Corridor, All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Gorakhpur, Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and Bundelkhand Expressway. “For this, we have to work round the clock and dedicate our lives to the nation,” he said.

Built at the cost of ₹14,854 crore, the 296-km long four-lane Bundelkhand Expressway has been completed eight months ahead of the scheduled time, according to a government release. The expressway will connect Etawah to Chitrakoot and will reduce travel time between Delhi and Chitrakoot to six hours.

Mr. Modi said the expressway would not only provide speed to vehicles but will also boost industrial development.

Responding to the revri culture jibe, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav in a tweet said, “If the ruling party people, who sought gratitude after delivering freebies, provided jobs to the youth, they could spare themselves from the charge of ‘accusation’ culture.”

Sharing a video of an incomplete portion of the expressway, Mr. Yadav questioned its design and the reason behind the rush to inaugurate an “incomplete expressway”. He went on to ask whether the word revri was unparliamentary.

Mr. Yadav said that despite being close to Defence Corridor, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had not been able to construct an airstrip on the expressway like the one on the Delhi-Lucknow Expressway. The latter was completed during the SP’s rule.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that providing a free education and healthcare system doesn’t amount to distributing freebies, “it is an effort to make India number one”.

Mr. Kejriwal on July 16 took on Mr. Modi following his comments equating State-sponsored free schemes to citizens as part of ‘revri culture’ which, the PM said, was “very dangerous” for the country and “people, especially the youth, need to guard against” it. .

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