Gandhinagar, Oct. 14 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday addressed the Global Emerging Markets Forum in the United States, via videoconference, and elaborated on his strategy for 'good governance' in the lead-up to the 2014 general elections.
"Good governance starts from good intentions, survives on lasting institutions and reaches across countries and beyond. ... Lack of good governance is like diabetes, which affects each and every part of the body," Modi said at his address.
"Good governance is always easy and effective governance. We should have no doubts about democracy - it has a strong foundation and flexible structure - let us design useful practices and processes in this framework. ... Governance must be system based and policy driven. It reduces subjectivity and corruption," Modi added.
Highlighting his success story as Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi narrated an anecdote of his 'per drop, more crop' slogan adopted in his state, and reminded the audience that when he took over as Chief Minister the state's energy sector was in bad shape.
"I met farmers, I told them what they need is not electricity but they need water. I appealed to them for water conservation through micro irrigation. The government and people worked together and (today) we do lots in water harvesting. The underground water table has (also) risen. Expenses of farmers have reduced. Farmers have diversified their crops also. ... Now, our average annual growth rate in agriculture is over 10 percent" Modi said.
Commenting on the pitfalls of the democratic functioning in emerging economies, Modi said that the problem was that the people take the government as a provider, prevents them from being active partners in development.
"Those in the government have to understand that people's good is the biggest agenda," Modi said while stressing the need for the politics of development in the 21st century.
"Governments are guardians of people interests. Humility is important and governments must accept collective wisdom of people. People are ready to listen for development," he added.
Modi said that his own re-election in Gujarat stands proof to the power of the voice of the people, and added that India needs to listen to the voices of the people, who, he said, want development.
"In India people are not ready to be fooled anymore, they want development. People are the best judges and they have been given us a chance, and have been voting for us (in Gujarat)," he said.
"All this can be overcome - what you need is honesty of purpose, integrity in intentions
People can discriminate between good and bad - this has been by us in four assembly elections. ...Those in Government have to understand that people's good is the biggest agenda. Governments are guardians of people interests," he added.
Modi also stressed that humility was of prime importance and governments should accept the collective wisdom of people.
"We need to keep decentralizing once they become mature. We need to enhance our own capacity to listen. In a democracy listening to people is a must," he added.
The Global Meet of the Emerging Markets Forum was held in Washington D.C. earlier today. (ANI)