#Modi2019Interview : Key Points


Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the beginning of the year by answering questions on a wide-ranging topic with ANI’s editor Smita Prakash.

In a 95-minute long interaction started with the intorregation on the humbling defeat of the BJP in the 5 state elections. Despite the defeats, the Prime Minister maintained that 2018 had been a successful year, elaborating on a number of achievements such as Ayushman Bharat yojana and some quite stellar results, to electrifying all villages in the country, to ISRO’s undertakings, and others. When pressed on the election results, he provided an analysis accepting the mandate in Chhattisgarh and citing anti-incumbency and a split verdict in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

He also attacked on the theorist who claimed that BJP would win only 180 seats in the LS election. He rubbished the claim saying that there were similar analysts in 2014 also but the people would always vote for the right Party.

When asked about the ‘Mahaghatbhandan’ he told that the opposition has no idea what to work. They have been just conspiring to bring down the nation. He also claimed the people would understand the conspiracy and would vote wisely.

He was asked about his and Amit Shah’s stated objective of having a Congress-mukt Bharat, at which he provided a background for the view, putting forth that the culture of the Congress – casteism, dynastic politics, being undemocratic and nepotism, as per him – were things that not only the country, but the Congress also needs to be free of. He concluded that the Congress has even failed to provide a strong opposition.

On demonetisation, black money, GST and economic fugitives

In terms of the biggest issues in the lead-up to the elections, the Prime Minister was asked first about demonetisation, for which he provided a background by citing how it was common knowledge that a parallel economy was running on black money. “Those sacks full of cash have now entered the banking structure”, he said, also refuting that the note-ban had entailed a ‘jhatka’ (shock). His reasoning for this was the myriad black money amnesty schemes that had been announced in the year preceding demonetisation.

READ| PM MODI INTERVIEW | PM Modi Takes Aim At Congress’ ‘First Family’

Next up was the action on corruption, including on absconders like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya, as well as on UPA-era scams like 2G and CWG. On the former, i.e. absconders, he said that because of his government the earlier cycle of looters looting endlessly had ended and those who felt they were at risk of being caught had to flee. He said that all possible means were being employed to bring absconders back and assured that they would.

The Prime Minister also reiterated, “We have entered into agreements with various countries. After 2019, we will get real time information from different countries. So Black Money will be brought back.”

On UPA-era corruption, the Prime Minister spoke about how a number of top politicians, including from the ‘first family’ (a clear reference to the Gandhis) and a former Finance Minister (a reference to P Chidambaram) were either out on bail or were making rounds of courts. He dismissed those leaders’ prime response to the crackdown on them — ‘political vendetta’ — expressing that when a court gives a judgment in a matter, it should be accepted.

From GST, he moved to the middle-class — a loyal voter base — for which he said “we will have to change our thinking.” He listed various figures highlighting how the middle-class’ aspirations had been addressed, including on low inflation, the Udan Yojana, the Mudra Yojana, and others.

Social, political and religious issues- Ram Mandir to cow-vigilantism, triple talaq to Sabarimala and farmer issues 

Coming to a more politico-economically controversial topic, he spoke about farmer issues, especially against the backdrop of the Congress touting farm-loan waivers as what appears to be its biggest poll plank. The Prime Minister, however, dubbed the farm-loan waivers a ‘lollypop’, and went into their history, accusing the Congress of not only lying about the efficacy of their farm-loan waivers, but also for not taking the requisite steps when they were in power that would have mitigated the kind of issues farmers face now. He then put forth his government’s view that while state governments are at liberty to waive farmers’ loans, the central government is committed to addressing their problems

When asked about peace negotiations with Pakistan he said “Everyone is ready to have a dialogue with Pakistan. But can we listen anything amidst bombs?”

Source : Republic

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