New Delhi: The BJP-led government is planning nationwide functions on the completion of its three years in power in May, projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "messiah of the poor".
The main focus of the celebrations will be the government's welfare work for the poor. This will be highlighted through various communication modes including a video dubbed "Achhe din aa gaye" (Good days have arrived). Opposition parties have consistently accused the government of failing to deliver on its promise of bringing in "achhe din". Informed sources said the government was likely to give a major thrust to take its achievements to the rural areas.
Press conferences by Union Ministers may go beyond the urban centres unlike the last anniversary celebrations when most events were held in cities.
Union Ministers may also be asked to stay in villages to highlight the government's work. Prime Minister Modi may address a press conference at the end of month-long celebrations. If he does that, it will be his first presser after becoming the Prime Minister in May 2014.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders said the Modi government had taken several initiatives for the poor and rural areas and the need was to put across the message effectively."The Prime Minister has been reaching out to the poor. The demonetisaiton was aimed at targeting the rich with illegal hordes of cash. The effort is to send a message that Modi has done maximum for the poor and he is their messiah," said a BJP leader who did not want to be named.
The sources said preparations had begun for the third anniversary celebrations. The BJP has high stakes in the outcome of the ongoing state elections. A favourable outcome, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, is expected to bring cheer and add to its political momentum. However, an adverse outcome can take some zing out of its anniversary plans.
The sources said ministries had been asked to prepare reports on implementation of promises made by the government with particular focus on the poor. "The ministries have been told to ready booklets, pamphlets and other publicity material on their achievements, including the work done for the poor," an official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
The video of major government achievements is expected to include moves towards rolling out Goods and Services Tax (GST), demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, steps taken to root out corruption and distribution of gas cylinders to the poor. The Modi government is also expected to detail its efforts to check terrorism emanating from Pakistan, where it carried out surgical strikes terrorist launch pads in September last year.
The proposals for the anniversary celebrations were still being discussed and will be given a final shape after the outcome of the ongoing assembly polls. The government celebrated its second anniversary as a "Vikas Parv".
It began with a Modi rally in Uttar Pradesh and included a gala event "Ek Nai Subah" at India Gate, also attended by some Bollywood celebrities.