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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Interview To iTV Network

In an exclusive interview to iTV Network, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Aishwarya Pandit Sharma of The Sunday Guardian, NewsX Editor-In-Chief Rishabh Gulati, and India News Editor-In-Chief Rana Yashwant on a wide array of subjects.

 

Addressing Secularism in India, The Prime Minister stressed that a false narrative was peddled for over 75 years through a very well-crafted conspiracy. He said, “Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else…”

 

In this regard, he slammed the Congress and emphasised that they hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse him of being communal. He said, “I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism… They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts.”

 

When asked about Babri litigant Iqbal Ansari reaffirming faith in the government’s policies and welfare schemes, Prime Minister Modi shared, “Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well.” 

 

The Prime Minister highlighted that in contrast, the Congress party rejected the invitation to the consecration ceremony. He stated, “Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it.” 

 

The Prime Minister also sharpened his attack at the Congress over their vow to conduct a wealth survey and augment the reservation cap. He said, “You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process.”

 

Referring to the Congress party’s manifesto, he commented, “They have said that even the allotment of government contracts will have reservations. So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what are the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time. Now they say that they want to give reservations to minorities in this process as well.” He also questioned the idea of providing reservation on the basis of religion and asked, “Has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness?”

 

Prime Minister Modi spotlighted the endeavour of his government to create jobs. He referred to the SKOCH report and pointed out that more than 20 government schemes have been analysed, and statistics regarding the creation of person-year-hours have been published. He said, “They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 Crore houses and how many people it employs. They have stated that 50 Crore people have accrued benefits.”

 

Further commenting on this, Prime Minister Modi emphasised upon the success stories of the Mudra and SVANidhi schemes. He said, “We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore and 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising.”

 

He also referred to the exponential expansion of Start-ups, and the doubling of road and rail construction as well as electrification. He highlighted, “All this is being created by people who have received jobs. The youth must be encouraged to do something and be productive.”

 

Prime Minister Modi reiterated his mantra of delivering welfare schemes on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. He highlighted his goal of 100% saturation and said, “Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery.” He further explained that if 100% delivery is the goal, no scope for discrimination arises.

 

He stressed, “Some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% delivery is done.”

 

 

The Prime Minister also spoke about the feat of lifting 25 Crore people out of poverty. He said, “Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong.” 

 

Prime Minister Modi presented an analogy to elucidate, “For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was.”

 

He explained, “In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.”

 

When asked about the Opposition targeting him during their campaigns, Prime Minister Modi said the Opposition was abusing him to gain publicity. He said that to understand their approach one must examine the administration between 2004 and 2014. He stated, “The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to public attention.”

 

Further commenting on this, he observed, “Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave… Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.”

 

While addressing the response of people to his election rallies, The Prime Minister said, “Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.”

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