Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala in an interview with Sreenivasan Jain pulled no punches in answering the questions ranging from the current state of the economy to bank NPAs and the governance of the BJP in the last five years. Jhunjhunwala, in his characteristic intrepid demeanour, stated that in his view PM Modi has done an excellent job as the Prime Minister of the country.
Listening about the adorations showered by Jhunjhunwala on PM Modi, a visibly perturbed Jain questioned him whether he found anything admirable in the previous regimes who governed the country? To this, Jhunjhunwala quickly retorted, “Jo ho gaya vo ho gaya. (Let bygones be bygones). I don’t want Pappu to be my Prime Minister. I support the BJP so I don’t want him as the Prime Minister.”
During an instance in the interview, Jhunjhunwala proclaimed that PM Modi is the most popular Prime Minister that India ever has. This did not sit well with the NDTV anchor who attempted to outsmart Jhunjhunwala by reminding him that popularism and performance are two different measures. However, Jhunjhunwala demolished him by stating that PM Modi has performed very well.
To the question if PM Modi has delivered as per the mandate given to him in 2014, Jhunjhunwala answered assertively that PM Modi has delivered on the promises made. “His constituency wanted the Article 370 to go. His constituency wants a Ram temple. He has delivered on those promises,” Jhunjhunwala added.
In addition, Jhunjhunwala heaped praises on the Modi government for initiating Ujjwala scheme and empowering lakhs of women with smoke-less LPG cylinders. Citing another ambitious initiative in the pipeline ‘Nal me Jal’ he said, “If I die tomorrow, I will die as a happy man. 40 per cent of diseases in India are water-borne. This scheme will immensely benefit Indians.”
With the all pervasive talk of impending economic catastrophe, Jain tried to corner Jhunjhunwala into censuring the government on the economic front. However, contrary to his expectations, Jhunjhunwala exclaimed that worst of economic crisis is behind us and the issue of the economic slowdown is blown out of proportion by the naysayers. Furthermore, he claimed that he has learned through his ‘channels’ and ‘sources’ that the economy of the country is on the mend after a brief slowdown.
Infusing optimism in the markets, the stock market wizard asserted that most of the Midcap stocks who have had severe beating in the last 18 months have bottomed out and are now poised for a growth rally. Although, he also suggested that people should consult their financial advisors before investing in the markets as there are multiple factors affecting the markets at any given point in time. Jhunjhunwala believes, it is the opportune time to invest in quality Midcap stocks.
With context to bank NPAs, Jain questioned Jhunjhunwala if it was fair on the banks’ part to exercise more caution and stringent policies while lending money, which is holding back the economy? In his riposte, Jhunjhunwala hailed PM Modi’s government for coming out of the first NPA cycle, adding further, “Most of these NPAs predate to 2014, the banks then lent money as if there was no tomorrow. After encountering a massive NPA crisis, a reluctance in lending money is but obvious. The demand will kick in and banks will once again start lending.”
Here’s why ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala believes Narendra Modi will be back as the Prime Minister in #LokSabhaElections2019.#TiEConMumbai @TiEMumbai @BJP4India @NarendraModi @AmitShah pic.twitter.com/J03NKKexGf
— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) February 6, 2019
This is, however, not the first time when Jhunjhunwala has indulged in straight talk. Ahead of the general elections, on February 2019, he had put his weight behind PM for a successive term in conversation with ET Now.