Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the 17th Century Red Fort on Wednesday on the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day. This was Modi’s fifth Independence Day address since he became the PM.

He said there was an atmosphere of positivity and confidence in India at the moment, which stemmed from its robust economy.

“India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world. It has created positivity. We are celebrating the festival of freedom in such a positive atmosphere,” Modi said in his last Independence Day speech before the 2019 elections.

The PM said the country was on a new trajectory of growth due to initiatives taken by his government in the last four years, and asserted that he was “impatient” to take the country ahead.

“Yes, I am impatient because many of the countries have moved forward. We have to move forward too. Malnutrition is a big problem in the country’s development. I am anxious to eradicate it.

“I am impatient to provide health cover to every poor person so that they can fight diseases. I am anxious to provide quality life to all citizens. I am eager because we have to lead knowledge-based fourth industrial revolution. I am eager because I want that the country uses its resources and potential,” he said.

Listen to the full speech here.

Modi took a dig at the previous UPA rule, drawing a parallel between the pace of works during UPA and the NDA governments.

“If we had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being built in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening, LPG gas cylinders were being distributed and optical fibres were being laid in 2013, then it would have taken us decades to complete them,” he said.

The PM promised sanitation, housing, electricity, water, LPG, skills, health insurance and connectivity for all, and said he wanted to create a new India for a better future.

“We have to make a new sunrise and take the country ahead of the skies and create a new India. We want to move ahead with the dream of reaching the crescendo of development. We want to progress more. There is no question of stopping or getting tired on the way,” he said.

The Prime Minister said India was earlier seen among the fragile five nations but now it had turned itself into a “land of reform, perform and transform”.

“We are all set for record economic growth. India’s voice is being heard effectively at the world stage. We are integral part of forums whose doors were earlier closed for us,” he said.

Modi said no one listened to the armed forces veterans who were demanding one rank, one pension, before the BJP came to power. He also talked about the GST, saying it had given new confidence to small and big traders.

“Who did not want the passage of the GST? Yet, it was pending for years. Last year it became a reality. The OROP demand was pending for decades. The people of India, our brave Army personnel had faith in us and we were able to take a decision on OROP.”

“The country is now feeling the change. As a result, we are making highways with a double speed, houses are being made in villages with four times more pace, there is record production, we are manufacturing record mobiles. Today we are buying more aeroplanes.

“It is the same land, same sky, sea, government offices and the country. But in the last four years, India has moved with a new zeal and therefore today India is constructing twice the highways and producing record crops,” said Modi.

“India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world. It has created positivity. We are celebrating the festival of freedom in such a positive atmosphere,” Modi said in his last Independence Day speech before the 2019 elections.

Modi began his speech by talking about how his government had been working for the upliftment of Dalits and backward sections.

Independence Day | PM Modi unfurls national flag at Red Fort, greets nation

At the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament, he said, the government gave constitutional status to the OBC and SC-ST Commission to protect the rights of the underprivileged.

“The session was devoted to social justice. The session witnessed the passage of the bill to create an OBC Commission. Dalits, women and other weaker sections of the society have been empowered,” he said.

“The country is brimming with self-confidence and is regularly crossing new heights,” said Modi.

“The demand for higher MSP (minimum support price for farmers) was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. The decision was taken by our government to provide the MSP of 1.5 times of production cost.”

The PM also announced to launch Jan Aarogya Abhiyan on September 25 across the country to provide healthcare to 50 crore people. “It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare,” he said.

(With agency inputs)