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|October 16, 1999||
PM's vision: a kinder, gentler and more tolerant society
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said the immediate task before the National Democratic Alliance government was to firmly put down terrorism, which has cast its cruel shadow on innocent people.
In his address to the nation, the prime minister urged the opposition to be constructive in criticism, stating that ''the opposition role in democracy is no less than that of the government''. He said, ''Constructive criticism is an essential input for good policies and programmes. Consensus on national issues is necessary for effective action''.
Referring to stepping up of terrorist activities in some parts of the country, Vajpayee said, ''The life of every Indian citizen under our dispensation is precious. In our fight against terrorism, we will be guided by the principle of zero tolerance''.
He said the same principle will apply while dealing with corruption that has bred contempt for the law. One of the first legislations to be introduced in Parliament will be the Lok Pal bill so that the rot can be checked from the top. He said a broad consensus already existed on electoral reforms to weed out muscle and money power, and his government proposes to introduce a comprehensive electoral reforms bill soon in Parliament.
The prime minister said his government will be guided by the lofty principles of secularism, social justice and social harmony and women empowerment. The government is wedded to a common ideal: to create a kinder, gentler and more tolerant society, free from all discrimination, fear and insecurity. He said the NDA represents the aspirations of every region of the nation and every section of vibrant society. In fact, it reflects the spirit of India in all its diversity. It also mirrors the fundamental unity in diversity.
''We may have been sent to Parliament under the banners of different parties, but we all have a common commitment to give India a stable and good government'', he added.
He said the election campaign generated lot of heat and dust. ''We should put the acrimony and bitterness of the last couple of months behind us and get down to the task of nation building. There is not a moment to lose'', he said.
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