Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed a faux pas in his Independence Day speech. If the length of the speech wasn’t enough, the content has become a controversial subject of discussion. Talking about his claims of success in bringing electricity to more and more villages Modi said on Monday, “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.”
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 15, 2016
Also interestingly, his official handle @PMOIndia tweeted a photo of group of people allegedly sitting in Nagla Fatela village and watching his speech on a TV set. Later his tall claims were soon punctured by the villagers who were surprised by the claims and had been living without electricity all this while. It has surfaced that the village has about 600 homes and out of them 450 are without power. The 150-odd homes that do get electricity rely on illegal ‘katia’ connections: they have connected their homes to a transformer meant to run 22 tubewells, and, in return, pay Rs 395 for two months to the Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (DVVNL), village pradhan Yogesh Kumar said.
— Harish (@busyintweeting) August 17, 2016
Power minister Piyush Goyal also tweeted not one but several photos of people watching Independence Day celebrations claiming that they were 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 but later when contacted the villagers clarified that it wasn’t their village in the pictures and no such programme was held in their village.
The village head of Nagla Fatela said, “No programme was organised in our village. The picture with children watching the Independence Day programme does not belong to our village.” Villagers said that while poles had been set up and electricity metres installed in the houses but there was still no power supply.
Adding to the fiasco, the union minister issued a clarification without realising that it would further increase the embarrassment of the govt. Titled as “Electrification of Village Nagla Fatela, Hathras -Facts at a Glance,” the clarification 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.’