From the days he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat to the present when he is the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, it seems, has made it his habit to make high-decibel promises to grab headlines, sail through in elections and then to unceremoniously forget about them till the next election. Also, whenever he has faced criticism for his failures, he has attempted to divert public attention, often successfully, by harping on yet another headline-grabbing project.

Here is a short fact sheet:

Modi as Gujarat CM:

These were some of Narendra Modi’s promises ahead of 2007 Assembly election in Gujarat:

  1. Will eradicate poverty from rural Gujarat and uplift all BPL families

Reality: In April 2000 there were 23.29 lakh BPL families. In July 2012, this number surged to 30.49 lakh, according to state rural development commissioner’s report.

  1. Will construct 2 lakh houses every year for the homeless

Reality: The government constructed only 10,000 homes for the poor every year.

  1. Will curb female foeticide and bring sex ratio figures up to 950 women per 1000 men

Reality: According to 2011 census, the sex ratio was 918 women per 1000 males. The situation is really alarming in certain communities, particularly in north Gujarat, the backyard of chief minister Narendra Modi.

  1. Will reduce maternal mortality rate below 50 per thousand women

Reality: Maternal mortality rate was 148 in 2012, the sixth worst in the country.

  1. Will clear all pending power supply applications for agriculture. Increase power supply to 14 hours

Reality: Over 300,000 applications for power connections were pending till 2012. Power could be supplied only for 8 hours.

  1. Completion of Narmada based drinking water project and formation of water supply co-operative societies in all villages

Reality: Against targeted 9,633 villages, only 7,071 villages had Narmada-based drinking water supply in 2012. As against the targeted 4,500 water supply cooperative societies, only 1,600 were formed, many of them on paper.

  1. A SEZ in every district, a new SEZ development department

Reality: No such department has been formed. Gujarat SEZ Act came into force in 2004. Since then a total 60 proposals were approved by Government of Gujarat and Government of India. Of these only 13 SEZs are operational and many developers have backed out.

  1. Electrification of all urban and rural houses

Reality: The 2011 census states 1100,000 households in Gujarat are without electricity. Of these 900,000 houses are in rural areas.


Headline grabbing drama: Ahead of the 2012 assembly election in Gujarat, Modi held a day-long fast in each district of the state as part of his Sadbhavna Mission to create harmony in the state. During his fasts, he promised financial packages for each district for development works at a total cost of Rs. 39,769 crore.

However, a year later, RTI responses from all the 26 districts revealed that none received any funds as promised by Modi.

Silencing the critics:

BJP activist Narsinhbhai Solanki recently moved a local court demanding ban on a book published on Modi’s failure to fulfill promises made during the 2014 general elections. The court, however, refused to ban the book titled Fekuji Have Dilli Ma (Fekuji is now in Delhi), written by J R Shah.

Modi as PM:

Promises made before and after his election as PM in 2014:

  1. Black money in foreign banks to be brought back. Every Indian will get Rs 1500000 in his or her bank account

Reality: Black money never returned. Government has not even revealed names of those keeping black money in foreign banks though Wikileaks and Panama Papers revealed some of the names. BJP president Amit Shah now says, Modi’s promise was just jumla (dialogue) before election and should not have been taken seriously.

  1. At least two crore new jobs will be created every year.

Reality: Only 1.35 lakh jobs were created in 2015 and 4.93 lakh jobs in 2014, according to data released by the Labour Bureau of India

  1. Fall in value of rupee will be halted

Reality: In On April 1, 2014 the exchange rate for one US dollar was Rs 59.90. Today it is Rs 68.52

  1. Make in India slogan will draw FDI in manufacturing sector and make India the industry hub of the world

Reality: Data released by Reserve Bank of India shows that after an encouraging jump to a record $9.6 billion in 2014-15, FDI in manufacturing actually fell to $8.4 billion in 2015-16 (below the $9.3 billion it had reached in 2011-12).

  1. After Modi’s repeated world tours, BJP claimed that India will soon enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Reality:  NSG was unable to reach a consensus on granting India membership.

  1. Isolate Pakistan – in the international community after the Uri attack

Reality: The BRICS summit in Goa condemned terrorism but refused to identify Pakistan as the “mothership of terrorism” as Modi wanted. On the contrary, Global Terrorism Index has lauded Pakistan for its efforts in curbing terrorism. UK is now sending a trade delegation to Islamabad.

  1. Immediately after taking charge, the BJP-led government will appoint a Lokpal to curb corruption in the country

Reality: The Supreme Court of India recently pulled up the Modi government and sought explanation on why it was not appointing the anti-graft Lokpal. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit said the Centre could not sit over the appointment process for making the anti-corruption watchdog functional.