Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his party’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with three rallies Thursday — in Meerut, Rudrapur and Jammu. PM Modi is scheduled to visit and address rallies in three other places today — Koraput in Odisha, Mahabubnagar in Telangana and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh. At 8 am today, the prime minister’s first interview of the poll season will be aired on Republic Bharat. This comes three months after Modi’s last interview to news agency Asian News International. Modi told ANI editor Smita Prakash in January that the upcoming elections would be a faceoff between the ‘junta and the gathbandhan’. Following the interview, he was at the receiving end of mixed responses from political leaders, with Opposition front runner Rahul Gandhi alleging it was a ‘staged interview’.
Here are the LIVE updates:
West Bengal CPI(M) secretary Surya Kanta Mishra has described Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress as the “Trojan horse of BJP” in the opposition camp and urged the people to vote for the strongest Congress or Left Front candidates to defeat the TMC and the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections in Bengal.
PM Modi appeals to the citizens of the country to cast their votes in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
Nehru ji spoke about poverty, so di Indiraji and Rajiv ji and also did Sonia Gandhi. And now even the 5th generation talks about the same. It is their ideology that they keep repeating whether in 2004, then again in 2009. Look at their tactic; it is about repeating the same agenda over and over again, says PM.
On Modi vs Who?
There could be a possibility that I have a strong rival in 2024, but in 2019, the country has made up its mind to bring us in power: PM Modi.
If you harm me it is OK. But if you harm the nation, you have to pay heavily: PM Modi.
Have I given electricity to rich businessmen's house? Have I made toilets in Mukesh Ambani's houses, says PM Modi.
I am not trying to control the judiciary and Parliament. Who ordered Emergency? Who jailed political leaders? Who stabbed their own father in law?: PM.
On Kamdaar vs Naamdar:
Dynastic politics is dangerous for democracy, says PM Modi. I am against political parties being led by a single family like a personal company.
In Bengal, the issue is not bitterness. It is about the state government's attitude: PM Modi
Elections are sweet and sour, says PM Modi. As a prime minister for the past 5 years, I would say I want to work with whoever becomes victorious. In politics, everyone must work together. The people of this country suffered for 30 years but enjoyed in the past 5 years which makes me confident of the upcoming polls, he adds.
People of the country not against alliances, but they want a stable government. NDA will get 300+ seats this election: PM Modi.
If we had to take the political route, we could have but we cannot and we have to ensure we follow the judicial system and it will the investigation is working at the right pace, says PM Modi.
"In India, there is a proper system of law. Congress has received a number of notices from the court, but they take their own sweet time to respond," PM Modi.
Previous governments have used defence deals as ATMs: PM Modi.
"I had a public meeting that day which could mean the 0 was wrong, or 5 was wrong or 2 was wrong. Even if their accusations are wrong, I want to accept it. I've heard your relatives and you have earned Rs 250 crore and now the public can make your choice if they want Rs 250 crore leader or a leader who owns 250 pair of clothing," says PM Modi.
We have brought rich tycoons to the streets, says PM Modi.
We will confiscate the assets and properties of any and all fugitives, says PM Modi. "The Opposition is slamming us on the basis of these fugitives but it is because of our strict actions that they have had to flee. But do you realise, we have come down severely on their assets, and they have had to run because of our actions. During Opposition rule, you would not have even known the names of such fugitives, leave alone know what happened to them and what action was taken against them."
Chowkidar doesn't only mean cap, whistle or stick. Chowkidar is a spirit, says PM Modi. I've been the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat. Yes, I'm a chaiwala and my past was never spoken about during my tenure as chief minister. But when I was elected as the Prime Minister, they started raising these issues and I proudly said that I was a chaiwala. As far as Chowkidar is concerned, it is a word I used for myself during 2011-2012 poll campaign too. Mahatma Gandhi also during his time had qualities of being a Chowkidar, not literally but in the spirit to ensure safety and security of the country.
My message to Pakistan is 'end terrorism', says PM Modi. "Pakistan has constantly tried to assure that they will take action, but we hardly see anything happening from their end. So I've stopped responding to their assurances. It's good that PM Khan is doing good things for his citizens, but what is necessary right now is for Pakistan to come out of terrorism," says PM.
We don't have anything against the citizens of Pakistan. We are fighting terrorism: PM
PM Modi says I don't want to fall in Pakistan's trap.
The interviewer asks PM Modi that is it true that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tried to call him in the recent past but PM Modi doesn't take his call.
It is unfortunate that when Abhinandan Varthaman was detained in Pakistan, the Opposition started questioning the Balakot air strike and regarding his return. It was their plan and they were going to bring out a 'candlelight march' for it."
No one can challenge me for all the work I have done in the past five years: PM Modi. "We can debate on the gas connections provided, house built and bank accounts opened with the Opposition. When I speak on progress, they change the topic and pick other issues. We are the government that works 24 hours and these are issues that matter to us but they keep talking about the same thing over and over again."
Politics over terrorism is dirty. The Opposition is involved in dangerous and dirty politics: PM Modi.
No person in the country can doubt Narendra Modi's patriotism. My life says that. We don't need to prove this, says PM Modi.
"No one can question my patriotism for my country. Everyone was aware of how big the attack was, but you should question the Opposition regarding such personal attacks. If they are sure of what they are blaming us for, they can go ahead with this as their agenda for the polls."
I believe this time the BJP will come to power with a bigger majority than 2014, says PM Modi. "Whatever we have been able to successfully execute in the past 5 years, it is because of the trust Indians place in us. We came into power with a sweeping majority, which shows the consent of the people and as of what I understand of politics, people have understood what Modi can do for them, what are the changes our government can bring in, how BJP can help the country progress. There are some spheres where India feels we lack, but we are sure that Indians won't let us down," says PM Modi.
PM Modi says there is nothing to do with timing as being projected by the Opposition. He also said that the Opposition cannot keep the country safe as it lacks primary knowledge.
PM Modi says space missions have to be planned by taking the global community into confidence. Time is allotted to nations. this doesn't see elections or Model Code of Conduct. He says the Opposition lacks elementary knowledge regarding these missions.
The interviewer tells the Pm that his announcement of "Mission Shakti" was seen as a poll gimmick by the Opposition. To this, the PM says, "People make mistakes" taking a dig at the Opposition.
Interviewer: But this election is personality-based and it is about PM Modi. To this PM Modi says, ""After 5 years of being in power, it is usual for the people to make the election campaigns synonymous with a personality and I've been constantly among the masses."
PM Modi says the voters should be the only centre point, focus point of any election.
The interviewer asks PM Modi "How's the Josh?" alluding to the hit Vicky Kaushal-starrer Uri: The Surgical Strike.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives his first interview in the run-up to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.