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PM Modi's interview highlights: PM clarifies stand on Rafale, surgical strikes, slams Congress

With Just A Few Months Left For The Lok Sabha Elections 2019, PM Modi Is Facing A Number Of Challenges, With The Opposition Parties, Led By The Congress, Joining Hands To Take On The Bharatiya Janata Party.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 01 Jan 2019, 07:37:13 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)

New Delhi:

PM Modi's interview Live to ANI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is speaking on various issues in his first interview of 2019. With just a few months left for the Lok Sabha elections 2019, PM Modi is facing a number of challenges, with the Opposition parties, led by the Congress, joining hands to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party. PM Modi is speaking on issues such as Ram Temple, the Lok Sabha Polls 2019, triple talaq, Rafale deal, AgustaWestland, BJP's Assembly election defeats in three Hindi heartland states in his interview with Smita Prakash, the editor-in-chief of news agency ANI.

Rahul Gandhi is no match when it comes to Modi’s oratory, but the Congress president has steadily built up his public persona, and comes across as more assured and focussed now. First Karnataka followed by three victories – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – made Gandhi one of the front-runners for the Prime Ministerial candidates, DMK president MK Stalin proposing the Gandhi’s son for the coveted post. 

PM Modi interview highlights: 

On his tenure, PM Modi says: "I leave it to people to decide whether satisfied or not with my work. But one thing, I am not surprised, I could neither make the Lutyen’s world part of me or me a part of them."

I belong to non-elite sections of society and I am proud of that. I have not won over the Lutyens sections. And I do not even want to be a part of this section because my background is different. For me, everything is about the people of India: PM odi.

"I have worked with full sincerity towards cleaning the Ganga," says PM Modi.  

The fact that those considered first family, who ran the country for four generations, are out on bail, that too for financial irregularities. A set of people, who are at their service, are trying to suppress such information and push other narratives," says Modi.

"India should be judged on the basis of its response in Doklam. And nothing has happened with India that can be considered as deceit, but our principled position has been that we want friendly relations with neighbours," says Modi on the Doklam standoff despite meetings with Xi Jinping. 

"India, whether the UPA or the NDA government, never opposed dialogue (with Pakistan). It is the consistent policy of the country, not Modi government or Manmohan Singh government. We only say one thing that amid the noise of bombs and guns, the dialogue cannot be heard," says Modi.

"Pakistan will never improve on the basis of one war. That nation will still take some time to improve. All PMs of India, across all parties never opposed dialogue with Pakistan. But, can we hear anything in the midst of bombs? Today, terror supporting Pakistan is isolated," says PM Modi.

"On the surgical strikes, there are some political parties who began to speak the same language as Pakistan. These parties were demeaning our armed forces. They politicised such an issue. As the PM, I will always appreciate the armed forces," says PM odi.

On Rafale, I have spoken in Parliament and in various public meetings. The Indian Supreme Court has given their views and the French President has also spoken: PM odi.

Urjit Patel has done great work as the RBI Governor: PM Modi

"If a Congress worker turns up to be Christian Michel’s lawyer, then it is worrying. People should be proud a 'razdaar' has come, now there will be legal inquiry and the truth will come out. Instead of that, you are sending lawyers from your party to support Michel," says Modi.

One of our former Prime Ministers called the Planning Commission members a 'bunch of jokers.' Do you know who was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission then: PM Modi (Referring to what Rajiv Gandhi said when Manmohan Singh was the Deputy Chairman).

"In 2014, we got a full majority, but we adhered to the coalition dharma. Took everyone together. Even today when we run the Govt, there is consensus in decision-making. Our allies wish to grow & we too want them to grow. We do not want that we should grow at cost of allies," says Modi.

For 10 long years, the PMO was weakened and a NAC was formed. This was disrespecting institutions. In which set up does a party leader have the right to simply tear away a decision taken by the Cabinet. We have to respect institutions: PM odi.

In our nation, we have to be accommodative to regional aspirations. I am firmly committed to fulfilling these aspirations: PM. 

"The first test of the alliance was in Telangana and we have seen what has happened to the alliance. What happened to the alliance in Tripura, Assam. Everybody can see. Their top leaders can close ranks but the people will never connect with this," says PM Modi.

The people of India are seeing how leaders who want to loot are closing ranks and forming alliances. 2019 is going to be about the people of India versus an Opposition alliance: PM Modi.

For Opposition leaders, Modi is the issue. On different days, they take turns to abuse Modi. You will hear nothing from them about their vision for India. In 2019, the people of India will set the agenda. They know who is with their aspirations and who is not: PM.

Every temple has their own beliefs. There are temples where men are not allowed. We should read minutely what the Respected Lady Judge said on the Sabarimala case: PM Modi.

"Triple Talaq is not a religion issue. This is about gender justice. Several Islamic nations have banned it," says PM Modi. 

I assure BJP Karyakartas that we will not tolerate political violence. Karyakartas of no party must be harmed. There is no place for violence in India: PM Modi. 

"What has happened in West Bengal. A political party (the BJP) is being denied a basic democratic right. Our workers are brutally killed in West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka. Politics of violence has to end. All parties have to reaffirm their commitment to peaceful politics," says PM.

"Let us remember what Bapu, Acharya Vinoba Bhave said. Let us also remember the Constitution of India, the Directive Principles of State Policy. We should follow what these great men and our Constitution has said," says PM Modi on the issue of cow welfare.

"No instance of violence is acceptable to us. Even one incident is condemnable," says PM. 

Let the judicial process take its own course. Don’t weigh it in political terms. Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts: Modi.

I want to appeal to the Congress not to use their lawyers to delay the judicial process on the Ram Temple: PM Modi.

"The Ordinance on Triple Talaq came in the light of a verdict by the Supreme Court. It did not come before that. For years, why was there no determined effort to end Triple Talaq": PM Modi

"For me, farmer welfare is not about politics. I want to do everything possible to improve the lives of our farmers: PM Modi.

"For middle-class, we'll have to change our thinking. Middle-class never lives on someone’s mercy. They live with dignity and make an immense contribution towards running the country," says PM Modi. 

"It was our government that took the historic decision on better MSP for farmers. Why did we do this- so that the farmer does not have to rely on debts and the farmer becomes more prosperous," PM Modi.

"There is a small segment of farmers who take loans from banks. A majority of them take loans from money lenders. When governments make such announcements, those farmers do not become beneficiaries of waivers. The farmers who are dying are out of the purview of such schemes," says PM Modi.

PM Modi on loan waivers by Congress state governments: "To say a lie and mislead, that is what I called lollipop. Like saying 'we have waived all farm loans'. The truth is that nothing like that has happened. Please see their own circulars, they should not mislead."

"Inflation is at a low. More educational institutions like IITs and IIMs are being set up. There is a scheme for quality and affordable healthcare. Flying has become affordable and due to that more people are sitting in planes. Who is this benefiting? The middle class," says PM Modi.

"The way someone thinks is the way someone talks. Have GST processes not been done taking a consensus with all political parties in the country? Since Pranab Mukherjee was the finance minister, the GST process has been going on," PM Modi on Rahul Gandhi calling GST 'Gabbar Singh Tax'.  

Earlier, there were so many hidden taxes. The tax rates were also high. GST has made things simpler. It has also brought down the taxes on so many commodities, says PM

It is a reality that the so-called First Family of the nation is out on bail. Their loyalists may try to hide that fact but they won't succeed. A former FM of India has to go to the courts and this also people are seeing: PM Modi 

"Those who fled during this government, they will be brought back, today or tomorrow. Diplomatic channels, legal courses, and seizure of properties being done. Those who have stolen India’s money, they will have to compensate for each and every penny," says PM Modi.

"Even Congress people say the Congress is a thought, a culture. When I say Congress-mukt, I want to rid the country from this culture and this sort of thinking. And I say that the Congress too needs to be mukt of this Congress culture," says PM Modi.

On loss in 5 states in the assembly elections, Modi says: "In Telangana and Mizoram, nobody gave the BJP any chance. In Chhattisgarh, a clear mandate was given, the BJP lost. But in two states, there was a hung assembly. Secondly, 15 years of anti-incumbency was being fought by our people. We are discussing what was lacking."

"2018 was a successful year. Elections are just one facet of a number of facets. If poor are given insurance of up to Rs 5 lakh, Ayushman Bharat Yojna. Such a big number of people were suffering, today they have got treatment, how can I consider this a failure?" Modi says.

"Pakistan is not going change with only one strike, it will be wrong to think like that. It will take time for Pakistan to change," says PM Modi on cross-border attacks from Pakistan even after the surgical strikes. 

"It is a fact that those considered first family, who ran the country for four generations, are out on bail, that too for financial irregularities. It is a big thing. A set of people, who are at their service, are trying to suppress such information and push other narratives," says Modi.

This wasn’t a jhatka. We had warned people a year before, that if you have such wealth (black money), you can deposit it, pay penalties and you will be helped out. However, they thought Modi too would behave like others so very few came forward voluntarily: Modi on demonetisation.

On Urjit Patel, PM Modi said he himself requested (to resign) on personal reasons. "I am revealing for the first time, he was telling me about it for past six-seven months before his resignation. He gave it even in writing. No question of political pressure. He did a good job as RBI Governor," says Modi.

Surgical strikes decision was a "big risk" but I was more concerned about safety of soldiers: PM Modi

"It is going to be 'Janta' versus 'gathbandhan'. Modi is just a manifestation of public love and blessings," PM Modi on whether the 2019 elections would be anybody vs Modi. 

PM Modi says the government will take a decision on the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court verdict.    

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First Published : 01 Jan 2019, 04:40:03 PM