Vowing to rid the country of the "disease" of corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his government will take tough measures to eliminate the menace which is "more dangerous than cancer". "Corruption is dangerous and spreading more dangerously than cancer. It is destroying the country. Strong steps are needed to eradicate it," he said at a public meeting while inaugurating a highway project in the poll-bound state.
"You tell me if we should take tough measures against it (corruption). I need your blessings. With your blessings, I will rid the country of this disease," said Modi, who was on his maiden visit to the state after becoming Prime Minister. He noted that many people said he did not speak against corruption in his Independence Day speech which, he added, was not true as he had this issue on mind when he spoke about "mera kya (What about me), mujhe kya (It does not concern me)" syndrome in society. This was about corruption, he said.
"This (corruption) has ruined the country... It is more dangerous than cancer. We have to make national mood against it. I sense that people are no longer ready to live with it," he said.
Turning his focus on development, he said the infrastructure of the 20th century would not do in the 21st century as times have changed and "we will have to think ahead".
"Rains come and roads disappear. Nobody knows where money goes.... Only road or rail network will not fulfill the infrastructure need of the 21st century. We have to lay optical fibre cable and connect our villages with gas and water grids," he said. His government, he said, is striving to meet the aspirations of the new generation. Stressing that development is the only solution to the problems facing the people, he said, "A nation which gives impetus to infrastructure be it roads, rail or airport, that is where chances of development increase".