Interview: PM talks Cong, NaMo TV, Ayodhya and more

Screenshot ABP News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an exclusive pre-poll interview with ABP news on Friday, attacked the Congress party on its manifesto by calling it “hypocritical”, and saying that it spoke in the “tukde tukde gang's bhasha” (separatist language). 

In the one-hour interview, he spoke about several issues such as the BJP-PDP alliance, the sedition law, demonetisation, NaMo TV, Ayodhya, the Congress and Priyanka Gandhi. 

The prime minister’s interview comes days after he gave a similar interview to Republic TV and his recent comments where he asserted that the Congress coined the term ‘Hindu terror’. He asked the audience if they could cite or recall any instance of a Hindu being involved in terrorism. His speech was later fact-checked and debunked by several news websites. 
 

 

Prime Minister Modi is notoriously camera-shy and has only given a handful of interviews to government-favoured news organisations since coming to power. During the interview, he thanked journalists for not questioning his performance and called it "good luck".

 

When asked what he thought about his performance in 60 months as compared to the 60 years of governance by the Congress, Modi said, “As far as the question of 60 years and 60 months is concerned, I would like to say that the country has observed that a prime minister has continuously worked and no one has asked any questions. Even you guys don’t ask me any questions and I consider this as my saubhagya (good luck).”

Here are some highlights from the interview: 

On the Congress manifesto

“I was pained that Congress said such things in its manifesto about national security. It has insulted the Indian Army. Its manifesto was speaking tukde tukde gang’s language,” said the PM. 

He also asserted that the manifesto is proof of the Congress’ hypocrisy as the party promises to remove sedition laws if voted into power but they have registered sedition cases in Tamil Nadu. 
 
“We have ended 1,400 laws. Congress party has registered cases of sedition in the TN protests against the nuclear power plant. We have to keep trust in the justice system,” said the prime minister.
 
On BJP-PDP alliance

“Mufti sahib was the mature leader when we formed the alliance. Milaawat waala karyakram tha humaara ek tarah. We wanted panchayat polls to be held and funds to be given to panchayats. But the PDP didn't want that. So we decided to part ways, and panchayat polls were also held,” said Modi.

Where was PM during Pulwama?

“Nobody will believe in these allegations. I get very sad by such allegations,” said the PM, when asked about reports that questioned his whereabouts during and after the Pulwama attack in Kashmir on Feb. 14 that killed at least 49 soldiers. 

Attacking the Pakistan government, he said, " Pakistan should stop sponsoring terrorism."

Modi also deflected a question on Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s performance. “You don’t know who runs the country in Pakistan – whether the government, ISI, military, or those sitting outside the country. They have to stop exporting terrorism. Look at China, we have differences, but we are still progressing,” Modi said.

On Rahul contesting from two seats

“The Congress has split the country, they have made Andhra Pradesh and Telangana fight... the media itself is saying that Rahul Gandhi has gone because he’s become weak in Amethi. We are not questioning why he’s contesting in two seats, we are questioning why he has run away from Amethi. The BJP has full right to question the latter.”

Why Modi doesn't take Rahul Gandhi's name

Modi says, "I come from a very ordinary family, I can't take big names. I have been made the prime minister by the people of this nation."

On accusations of false cases due to political vendettas 

"I seek proof from Gandhi family," said the PM on accusations by the Congress that the Gandhi family has been framed in various cases by the BJP government for political gains. 

On Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics

"In democracy, anyone can contest from anywhere. I don't fear about who are contesting from where,  it doesn't matter to me."

On fugitives like Nirav Modi

“The fugitives are being jailed because of measures being taken by BJP, the fraud has been happening for years but it was caught by us and people like Nirav Modi will be in jail as soon as he's brought to India,” said the PM. 

A progressive work culture

"We have brought about a complete revamp in the work culture and style of governance. I had to take some major and tough decisions in the interest of the nation," he said.

On launch of NaMo TV

"I haven't had the time to see the channel... I am sure the people of the country have started believing now that Modi doesn't favour the corrupt."

On Ram Mandir

"It's not just me but everyone wants Ram Mandir to be built...we can only wait for the Supreme Court's decision to find a solution for it.” 

Why don't Muslims trust the BJP government?

“I said, 'we haven’t done anything for Muslims, and won’t do anything in the future'. (But) I also said, 'we haven’t done anything for Hindus, and won’t do anything in the future'. Instead, my slogan is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. All my schemes are following that mantra.”
 
On demonetisation

"The formal economy has been advanced, crores of undisclosed income has been found, benami properties have been seized, etc.," said the prime minister.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


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Interview: PM talks Cong, NaMo TV, Ayodhya and more

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