"Our image has become 'scam India', we have to convert it to 'skill India'," Modi said .

In his first speech in both Houses of Parliament, he talked about his ‘dreams’ of ensuring the country's progress and converting the image from ‘scam India’ to ‘skill India’ through ‘cooperative federalism’.

The Prime Minister was apparently taking a dig at the previous Congress-led UPA government during which a number of scams came out in the open.

Noting that the country has earned the image of ‘scam India’ in the world, he said, "The confidence has been lost, which needs to be restored. The confidence should not be broken. It is a big challenge, but we can do it if we sit together."

'Centre should not work with a big brother attitude'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Central government will work along with states and address their problems as he believes in ‘cooperative federalism’ to build a strong India and speedy growth of the country.
 
Modi, who was earlier Chief Minister of Gujarat, said that he understood how the growth of states was stalled by the Centre for political reasons and promised to change ‘this work culture’.

"The strength of our country is federal structure. We need to introspect whether we have strengthened the federal structure sitting in Delhi. If the country has to move forward, the states should move forward.

"If the country has to prosper, the state should prosper. If the country has to become strong, the states need to be strengthened," he said in his maiden address in the Rajya Sabha while replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address.

Emphathising with states on their problems and pains, he said, "I know the problems faced by states if there is not a friendly government in the Centre. On petty issues, growth of states is stopped for narrow political gains. We are talking about cooperative federalism. The Centre should not work with a big brother attitude. We should work together."

He also shared that the Tamil Nadu government had written 40 letters to the Centre but not a single letter was acknowledged. "We need to change this attitude," he noted.

Responding to questions by some members as to how the ambitious agenda outlined in the President's address would be implemented, Modi quipped that he was not surprised over the apprehensions considering the ‘atmosphere of despair’ that prevailed for last several years.

"This shadow is still there and hence there are apprehensions. I am confident that we will change this," he said.

(JPN/Agencies)

Latest News from India News Desk