Taking a dig at the Congress on its populist minimum income guarantee promise, PM Modi said that the fifth generation of a family is making same promise of eradicating poverty by making such fantastical promises because they know they are not going to come to power to actually implement the same.
#ModiSpeaksToBharat | 4 generations of the same family have spoken about removing poverty. Indira Gandhi also spoke about it, Rajiv Gandhi also spoke about it and now Rahul Gandhi is talking about it: PM Narendra Modi on @Republic_Bharat pic.twitter.com/8BST3B5PJs
— Republic (@republic) March 29, 2019
Prime Minister Modi in his interview with Republic Bharat touched upon various issues including the prospects of the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the emergence of an Opposition front, dynastic politics, his campaign theme ‘Mein Bhi Chowkidar’, Pulwama and several other issues ranging from the Rafale deal to unemployment.
Stating that in a democracy like India, Modi said that the voter is at the centre of the election and hence political parties have to go to the polls only to meet the expectations of voters.
Prime Minister Modi added that this year the elections will personality-driven. “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,” said PM Modi in his first interview post-Pulwama terror attacks.
Responding to question on Balakot air strikes conducted by India Air Force and the opposition parties’ reactions to these incidents, PM Modi said he had given full freedom to the armed forces to make a plan and excute it. “It is my behaviour, where there is a risk to the jawans of India, I’m constantly involved it. There is no expectation from their end, but I could not sleep and I was aware of what was happening.”
Regarding the Opposition’s ‘personal attack’ and saying the Pulwama attack, as well as Balakot air strikes, was ‘match-fixing’ between PM Khan and PM Modi, he added, “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.”
On accusations of the opposition regarding the timing of ASAT programme launch, PM Modi defended the allegations stating that a lot of global planning is needed before an event like ASAT test. A government in power can make mistakes, he said. But, Congress, who has been in power for a long time, should have considered these allegations more seriously. Taking a dig at the utter cluelessness of the Opposition on ASAT missile, PM Modi said, “The Opposition cannot keep the country safe as it lacks primary knowledge.”
Clarifying that the ASAT announcement cannot be considered violation of model code of conduct, PM Modi said, “Can government say it’s not on duty? Should the government not respond to critical issues because of elections.”
He further asserted that the BJP will come back to power in 2019 with a much stronger mandate. PM Modi said that country is not against coalitions, the country wants stability. The people of India don’t want to go towards instability and the people of the country have made up their minds, they want a government with an absolute majority, said PM Modi. He further added that BJP will get more seats than it did in 2014.
“We are the government that works 24 hours. It is unfortunate that when Abhinandan Varthaman was detained in Pakistan, the Opposition started questioning the Balakot air strikes and his safe return. It was their plan and they were going to bring out a ‘candlelight march’ for it,” PM Modi said.
Targetting the opposition over questioning him on the issue of handling Pakistan, PM Modi took a dig on opposition parties and their ecosystem saying that, “They see statesmanship in Pakistan PM’s statements and they doubt their own PM. The people should recognise these people.”
He asserted that Pakistan Prime Minister should prove his intent for peace by returning perpetrators of terror and criminals to India. “Pakistan has always assured that they will take decisive action, but they don’t. I do not want to fall into their trap now,” said PM Modi.
With reference to PM Modi picking up Chowkidar as a campaign theme for the elections, Arnab Goswami asked the Prime Minister on why did not he ignore the abuses hurled at him. PM Modi said that he was a Chowkidar, even though not literally, but in its spirit. He said that the issue of Chowkidar was not a simple issue, rather it was an idea similar to the idea of MK Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship.
“There are people who have gotten into the habit of undertaking personal attacks. As far as Chaiwala is concerned, did you hear it when I was the CM of Gujarat? When I was declared the PM candidate, they dug out my background.
“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,” he said.
On being questioned about the fleeing of fugitive economic offenders Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, PM Modi said that the Opposition is slamming him for losing these fugitives but was it is because of his strict actions in the country that they have had to flee, asked PM Modi. He claimed the credit of bringing them back stating that his government has come down severely on their assets for which 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. Properties worth Rs 14,000 crore belonging to Vijay Mallya have been seized even though total liability against him stands at Rs 9,000 crore,” said PM Modi.
PM Modi also spoke about middleman Michel, “I have got Christian Michel, he is sitting in jail and revealing details. The law is taking its course. We made a law for the fugitives, wherever in the world they hide, their money can be confiscated. All the cheats are waiting for the government to change so that they come back.”
Targetting Congress party over their involvement in various defence deals and scams, he said that previous governments used defence deals as their ATMs as they can not imagine that deals can be done with transparency.
With reference to the issue of Robert Vadra and failure of his government to take any action against the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, PM Modi said that the law is taking its course. “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. 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 speed” added PM Modi.
Commenting on dynastic politics, PM Modi said, “It is not my problem, but dynastic politics is a major threat to India’s democracy. The parties which are run by families, the country cannot function out of the families control. The party which works as a personal company where no one else can come in as President, this is wrong. It is the responsibility of media houses like you to bring out such dynastic political families.
Prime Minister Modi on TDP’s comments accusing him of ‘ending the democracy if Modi wins’, said, “Those who have no issue to raise will focus on fear-mongering to divert from problems. Were the founding fathers so weak that they would make something that one Modi could destroy? They are insulting those who died for independence.”
“Who wanted to impeach the SC judge, who brought in an emergency? Before levelling allegations they should look in the mirror,” PM Modi said.
“Those who have seen my tenure as CM of Gujarat in the past 13-14 years, they won’t accuse me of trying to control the judiciary and parliament. I’ve been silent all this while but should I question as to who ordered for the Emergency? Who jailed political leaders? Who stabbed their own father in law? Please, not make me open my mouth,” PM Modi warned against rumour mongering.