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Smita's Press Note on NaMo


My legacy
• You know me as Smita, the pop singer and entrepreneur.
• There is another side of mine which you are not aware of. This is the reason I am here today.
• Those of you who have been around for a while would surely know of the legendary MrsT Lakshmikantamma, the three-time MP from Khammam and two-time MLA.
• MrsLakshmikantamma was a true Gandhian, (the Mahatma Gandhi variant) and believed in the principles of democracy and good governance.
• A true believer in democracy, she was the only Congress MP from the South who opposed Indira Gandhi during the emergency and was expelled from the Congress party as a result.
• During the 25 years she was in power, she was offered several posts including that of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.But, she was never after power and chose instead to groom and build the political careers of those who she thought were capable of taking India to the next level. Her protégés included the former Prime Minister- Mr P.V. NarasimhaRao, who referred to her as his “guru”.
• She believed in development and industrialization as the keys to the alleviation of poverty. She was instrumental in the setting up of the Vizag Steel Plant, the Police Academy, the Kothagudem Thermal Power Project and BHEL.
• She was a champion of women’s rights – fighting in parliament for the sake of women who were not allowed to become IAS officers in those days.
• Despite her being in power for 25 years and my grandfather, Shri T SubbaRao being the Chief Conservator of Forests at the time of my mother’s wedding, they took a loan of Rs 50,000 with his Provident Fund as collateral to meet the wedding expenses. That was the level of probity in public life that they stood for.
• MrsLakshmikantamma is not only my grandmother but also my inspiration and the driving force behind what I am doing today.
• She left her body in 2007 but her presence is more with me today, than it was when she was physically present here.
• My mother, MrsJogulamba is an entrepreneur and was a student leader. She served as the Jt. Secretary of Delhi University Students Union. She won student elections in 1977 with ease and was identified by Arun Jaitley ji as a future leader. Her peers include Shri Vijay Goel,Shri Rajat Sharma and many more national leaders.
• Despite her access to the leadership and her innate ability, she chose to stay away from politics to focus on her family and professional life.

Today’s circumstances
• Today, politics is not about service to society, but it is about building one’s bank balance and Swiss bank account.
• It is a vicious cycle. People say that they need money to contest elections and have to spend tens of crores to win even the smallest constituency.
• Once they win, they don’t stop with earning what they have spent. There is no end to their greed.
• Under these circumstances, can we expect them to work for the people and the country?
• I am sure that after seeing today’s circumstances, my mother regrets not taking up active politics. She would have made a big difference and played an important role in delivering good governance.
• But given today’s socio-political scenario, I am simply not able to remain silent and say to myself, “How much difference would it make to my life if things change?”.
• I do not want to make the mistake of being passive even under these grave circumstances as I believe that I have a duty to contribute to society and carry forward the glorious legacy of my grandmother’s.
• But, that said, I don’t feel as if I will be a good fit in today’s electoral politics, especially in the state where politics is all about caste, religion, region and money.
• In the near future, with a bunch of like-minded people, I will start a non-political organization that will seek to serve the Telugu people through activities for rural development and the promotion of transparent and accountable governance.
• I started my responsible journey taking Modiji as a social cause and not just a politician. He is the country’s need of the hour. My contribution
• I made a plea to the nation and used my voice as a medium to express my heart-felt feelings to every citizen of the country through “Wake Up India!” Why NaMo
• In 2001, Gujarat was a mess in the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake. Under the stewardship of Modiji, it rose like a phoenix from the ashes to become what it is today. Women empowerment and safety. Gujarat, under Modiji, is one the safest places in the country. Crime is very low and there is a zero-tolerance policy for crime. As a woman, this is very important to me. Modiji took concrete steps to ensure that women have adequate financial security. A key step that he took was the waiver of stamp duty for property registered in the name of women. This step alone benefitted over 9 lakh women. Electricity
• From being one of the states with the worst power deficits, Gujarat, under Modiji became the only major state to provide 24-hours electricity to its people.
• After the power reforms unleashed by Modiji, its state electricity board went from a loss making, sick PSU to a profitable enterprise.
• Gujarat ensures high quality power supply to the agricultural sector, ensuring that it can be used to power motors, pumpsets and tube wells. Agriculture
• Gujarat, under Modiji achieved one of the highest agricultural growth rates in the country since 2002, despite being severely drought prone and facing a large scale shortage of water.
• All major rivers have been inter-linked, canals built to supply water to villages and soil health cards issued to all farmers, to ensure the optimal productivity of land.
• Large scale utilization of check-dams and easy financing of drip irrigation equipment through subsidies and bank loans have ensured that even arid, dry regions have adequate access to irrigation. Employment generation
• Over the last 10 years, 50% of the jobs created were created in Gujarat and the balance in the rest of the country. Roads
• Every village in Gujarat has “pucca” all-weather roads that connect it to the cities.
• The World Bank has certified that many of the highways in Gujarat meet European standards. Industries and approvals
• Gujarat is the state in India with the highest economic freedom. Single window clearances have ensured that big ticket projects are not held up due to bureaucracy and red-tape.
• You must all be familiar with GM, Tata Motors, Fiat and other large automobile companies shifting base to Gujarat due to the industry-friendly atmosphere. Appeal
• We need a selfless, intelligent and principled leader for India today. I am sure Gujarat will miss him, but Sir, India needs you for a bigger cause.
• I appeal to the citizens of the nation in general and to the Telugu people in particular to vote for change, to vote for development and most importantly, to vote for India.
• Please vote for anything and everything that it takes to make Modiji the Prime Minister of India.