The whole world knows how much our beloved Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi loves to speak. Modi’s work go hand in hand with the bold statements he makes and that’s what he is known for. And this Independence day was no different as he spoke around 90 minutes non-stop, which is considered to be the longest speech in the history. The earlier record was with the first Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. And how does it feel to attend a 90 minutes speech ? That can be ascertained by the number of ministers who were found taking a nap during the speech.
However, what soon became a controversial subject of discussion was not the length of Modi’s speech but what he said during his monologue.
While talking about his government’s achievement, Modi claimed of huge success in bringing electricity to more and more villages. This was a pledge he had made during his last year’s Independence Day speech.
“Out of 18,000 villages, more than 10,000 villages have been electrified. The village of Nagla Fatela is only three hours from Delhi, but it took more than 70 years for it to get electricity. I have been told they are with us, watching this celebration of Independence Day.”said Modi on Monday.
Modi’s official Twitter handle @PMOIndia tweeted a photo of group of people sitting in Nagla Fatela village and watching his speech on a TV set.
His tweet said, “People of Nagla Phatela watching the Independence Day celebrations for the first time. More power to them.”
An enthusiastic union power minister, Piyush Goyal, went a step further and tweeted not one but several photos of people watching Independence Day celebrations claiming that they were in in the newly electrified villages. It was also to imply that the villagers were now able to bring the electricity to good use by watching Modi’s speech.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 15, 2016
But in reality there is no power in the village, according to the people of Nagla Phatela.
According to reports, the gram pradhan of Nagla Fatela village has refuted the claim of PM that pictures tweeted from the handle of Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal were not of their village and no programme was organized in the village on Independence Day. “No programme was organized in our village. The picture with children watching the Independence Day programme does not belong to our village,” he said. People in the village also claim that poles have been set up and electricity metres have been installed in the houses but there is no power supply.
Villagers said that while poles had been set up and electricity metres installed in the houses but there was still no power supply.
Faced with widespread embarrassment, the union power ministry quickly issued a clarification without realising that its content would cause more embarrassment to the central government and Modi than the inaccurate claims made by the prime minister.
Titled as “Electrification of Village Nagla Fatela, Hathras -Facts at a Glance,” the clarification(see below) issued by ministry of power confessed that the electrification of ‘said village was proposed’ by the Uttar Pradesh’s Akhilesh Yadav government and the Detailed Project Report was sanctioned by the UPA government on ‘20.12.2013 and sanction letter was released by Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) on 06.01.2014.’
From the ministry of power’s clarification, it’s abundantly clear that not only did the prime minister make a false claim on his achievement, his government had also not played any part even in the process to create infrastructure to electrify Nagla Fatela village.
The statement by ministry of power further explained the circumstances leading to Modi making an embarrassing claim during an important speech being broadcast live on almost all news channels in India.