New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi turns 71 on Friday and the BJP has drawn plans to make the day historic. While the party aims to create a record of maximum COVID-19 vaccine inoculations, it will also embark on 21-day "Seva and Samarpan" campaign.
PM Modi is into the third year of his second consecutive term as Prime Minister and has repeatedly emphasised the motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' in governance.
He has sought to usher inclusive, development-oriented and corruption-free governance and also sought to bring speed in decision-making.
PM Modi was sworn-in for his second term on May 2019 after serving as the Prime Minister of India from 2014 to 2019. He is the first Prime Minister to be born after Independence.
He has also been the longest-serving Chief Minister of Gujarat with his term spanning from October 2001 to May 2014. He will achieve another milestone next month as he completes 20 years in public office on October 7.
He led the Bharatiya Janata Party to record wins in the 2014 and 2019 elections, securing an absolute majority on both occasions.
The BJP-led government under PM Modi has taken several welfare initiatives.
Ayushman Bharat is the world's largest healthcare programme which covers over 50 crore Indians.
There are over 35 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened as part of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana that aims bank accounts for every Indian.
Apart from insurance and pension cover to the most vulnerable sections of society, the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan- Aadhaar- Mobile) has brought transparency and speed and cut out delays and corruption.
The Modi government has brought pension schemes for various sections. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has provided smoke-free kitchens to over 7 crore beneficiaries, most of whom are women.
Nearly 18,000 villages that were without electricity even after 70 long years of Independence have been electrified. The government has a target of 'Housing for All' by 2022 and has sought to give focus to agriculture through schemes like PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Soil Health Cards, E-NAM.
PM Modi launched 'Swachh Bharat Mission' in 2014 and the sanitation coverage has risen from 38 per cent in 2014 to 99 per cent.
The Modi government has sought to create next-generation infrastructure in terms of more highways, railways, i-ways and waterways. The UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) Scheme has sought to boost connectivity.
The 'Make in India' initiative launched by the Prime Minister seeks to give a rapid boost to manufacturing.
The Modi government has given a boost to digital transactions and sought to fund the unfunded through Mudra Yojana.
Apart from economic reforms across sectors and the rollout of GST, the Modi government has paid attention to India's rich history and culture.
India is home to the world's largest statue, the Statue of Unity, a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel.
PM Modi is espoused environmental causes and India is giving a massive push to renewable energy. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, PM Modi created a separate Climate Change Department. India has taken the International Solar Alliance initiative.
PM Modi has been honoured with the United Nations 'Champions of the Earth Award.'
He has also sought to bring a new approach to disaster management, harnessing the power of technology and the strength of human resources.
Giving an inkling to his foreign policy initiatives, PM Modi began his first term in office in presence of all Heads of States of SAARC Nations and invited BIMSTEC leaders at the start of the second term.
PM Modi has been conferred various honours including the highest civilian honour of Saudi Arabia Sash of King Abdulaziz.
He has been also been conferred the top awards of Russia (The Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First), Palestine (Grand Collar of the State of Palestine), Afghanistan (Amir Amanullah Khan Award), UAE (Zayed Medal) and Maldives (Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen). In 2018, PM received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for his contribution to peace and development.
Narendra Modi's call for marking a day as 'International Day of Yoga' received an overwhelming response at the UN.
PM Modi was born on September 17, 1950, in a small town in Gujarat. He grew up in a poor family and the initial hardships of life seem to have taught him the value of hard work.
In his initial years, he worked with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and later joined politics working with the Bharatiya Janata Party organization at the national and state level.
PM Modi completed his MA in political science from Gujarat University.
Known as one of the most techno-savvy leaders, he has sought to use technology to bring change in the lives of people. He is very active on social media platforms.
He has authored several books, including poetry. He begins his day with Yoga.
The Modi government has plans for drinking water for all, roads, broadband connectivity to every village and education for all.
Various initiatives including Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Fit India and self-reliant India are aimed at making New India.
Dignitaries, politicians, sport personalities extend wishes
Birthday greetings poured in from President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and various leaders across parties while BJP leaders hailed his leadership.
To mark the day, the BJP has asked its workers to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination drive as it eyes record-breaking numbers on Friday.
BJP president J P Nadda launched a mega 20-day public outreach, "Seva aur Samarpan", to mark the prime minister's birthday and it will continue till October 7 to also commemorate his 20 years in public life, including the period when he served as Gujarat chief minister.
Wishing him a long and healthy life, President Kovind hoped that Modi may continue to serve the nation with his spirit of relentless service.
Vice President Naidu said Modi's exceptional vision, exemplary leadership and dedicated service have led to an all-around growth of the nation.
He also said amid challenges in the last one year, his efforts to encourage the spirit of self-reliance has borne fruits.
Home Minister Amit Shah lauded Modi, saying he not only gave the country the idea to think ahead of time and fulfil its resolve with hardwork but also made it a reality.
In Modi, the country has got a strong and decisive leader who gave a dignified life to those who were deprived of their rights for decades, he said.
Modi brought them in the mainstream of development, Shah added.
The prime minister has shown the world what people-loving leadership is like, he said.
A number of opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, also extended wishes to Modi.
"Happy birthday, Modi ji," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Pawar tweeted, "Warm Birthday Wishes to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji. I wish him good health and happiness."
Gandhi said, "Happy birthday, Modi ji."
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Modi has written many new chapters in development and good governance in his tenure so far and wished that he fulfil his dream of making India a strong, prosperous and proud country.
Born in Gujarat in 1950, Modi joined Hindutva organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at an early age and was later drafted into the BJP.
Made Gujarat chief minister in 2001, Modi has never suffered an electoral setback when votes were cast on his leadership, leading the BJP to power in the state for three consecutive terms and then at the Centre back to back in 2014 and 2019.
The BJP will also be distributing over 14 crore ration kits and holding blood donation camps besides organising other welfare activities during the 20-day campaign.
In his greetings, Nadda hailed Modi as the most popular leader of the world, and said he is dedicated to the progress of the most deprived person in society and symbolises foresighted and decisive leadership besides tireless efforts.
The Dalai Lama also wished the prime minister and congratulated him on the growing confidence he had brought among the people, despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his letter to the prime minster, the Dalai Lama also said that as the most populous democratic nation in the world, India's success benefits not only the people of the country, but also contributes to the development of the world as a whole.
Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar wished PM Modi a year "full of good health and happiness," while India skipper Virat Kohli extended warm greetings on the PM's birthday.
"Happy Birthday, Hon. PM @narendramodi ji. Wishing you a year full of good health and happiness," Tendulkar tweeted.
"Warm birthday greetings to our honourable PM @narendramodi ji. May you be blessed with good health and happiness," Kohli tweeted.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman also wished PM Modi.
"Wishing Honourable PM @narendramodi Ji a very happy birthday. May you be blessed with good health and happiness and continue to serve the nation," Laxman tweeted.
Former India all-rounder Yuvraj also extended his best wishes to PM Modi.
"Wishing our honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji a very Happy Birthday. May you be blessed with good health and success. My best wishes. @narendramodi @PMOIndia," Yuvraj tweeted.