Anchor: Hello. The entire country is facing the rising electoral temperatures in the country right now. And why just India, the entire world is talking about the Lok Sabha elections in the country. Every election is crucial but this election is special. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, people gave majority to a single party to form the government after 30 years. The election campaign at that time centred around one name, one personality. And that person is none other than our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is with us for a special interview on DD News and Rajya Sabha TV. Thanks a lot sir.
Prime Minister: My greetings to all the viewers of DD News and Rajya Sabha TV
Question: Your critics used to say that your entire push is towards improving relations with the US, while our relations with Russia are worsening. Did the critics got their reply when Russia bestowed its highest civilian honour to you?
Prime Minister: In a democracy, criticism is good and is also necessary. However, without any substance, criticism becomes allegations. I want criticism but it is very rare. I have experienced that mostly they are allegations. If they wanted to criticize, they would have studied the facts about India’s relations with US and Russia, the issues, where do we stand at multilateral forums and bilateral forums etc. Then they wouldn’t have drawn such a halfbaked conclusion.
Question: You got several awards. However, questions are being raised about the timing of awards given to you by Russia and the UAE as you got them close to elections.
Prime Minister: See, every country has its own mechanism, its own ways. They decide their timing. We also give Padma awards to many foreigners. At that time we don’t consider what’s going on in their country. Anyone can ask why we gave Bharat Ratna in election year. There is no logic behind such criticism. Secondly, when I went to Saudi Arabia, I was awarded with their highest civilian honour. I was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine and they honoured me. Afghanistan also gave me their highest civilian honour. I believe it’s a natural process. The Election Commission has always talked about letting these natural processes continue.
Question: The kind of support India received from the international community after Balakot showed that our relations with the foreign countries have improved.
Prime Minister: What you are saying is absolutely true. Today, India has arrived at the global fora. Earlier we were a mere spectators but today we are a player. For example, earlier during discussions on global warming and environment, India was seen as a hindrance. But today, the world commends India as a leading player. We have initiated concrete plans like International Solar Alliance. We have good ties both with Israel and Palestine even though there is conflict between them. I am fortunate to have visited the both countries. There are tensions between Arabic nations and Iran but we have friendly relations with both of them. Our aim is to keep national interests paramount while maintaining diplomatic ties with the world. Earlier, the world was bipolar and that’s why we were forced to be a part of one or the other bloc. But in this globalized era, the entire world is inter-dependent and inter-connected. In this situation, India cannot remain in an isolated state. We should try to take everyone along and this is what we have done in the recent past and have got good results.
Question: Your manifesto also talks about your vision for India. It talks about New India @75 by 2022. What are the five top priorities to achieve that vision?
Prime Minister: For the first time, we have come up with a manifesto that talks about giving a report card to the nation, mid-way through the govt. We have set goals for 2022 and 2024. In 2022, India is completing 75 years of independence and we aim to create an inspiring environment. We must remember those who gave their lives for the nation. Taking inspiration from there, all 125 crore citizens should participate in India’s growth. Keeping that in mind, we have set 75 goals to achieve by 2022. This means that in 2023 and 2024 people will ask me what I said and what has been done. No one in the past has dared to take such huge responsibility but we did this. I am confident that by 2022, we will provide pucca houses to every family that is homeless. We said that by 2022, no family in the country would be without electricity. In a way, we are encouraging ease of living. We also want to double farmers’ income by 2022 and reduce the input cost, increase yield per acre, spike productivity, give boost to food processing, food storage, grain storage, cold storage, warehousing. How to prepare a good infrastructure with all this along with animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, honey and connecting all these together. We have given a new point of view - the farmer becomes energy-producer. Farmers waste a few patches of land in fencing the farms. If that space can be used to install solar panels, then he will be able to produce energy. This energy can be used for running pumps and all. The additional power produced can be also be sold to the state governments. Some places experience water crisis and only one or two crops can be grown per year. If such places get electricity for six months using solar panels, an additional source of income will be generated. This is our revolutionary thinking which will pan out in the coming times.
Question: When you talk about solar panels, there is a cost input. Have you thought of ways to reduce cost of the solar panels?
Prime Minister: You see, LED bulbs are a great example. LED bulb wasn’t a new thing and people were aware of them. Before our government, the cost of LED bulbs was around Rs 350-400. Now due to their usage, the electricity bill of a middle class family has reduced by Rs 2000-3000 per year. It has also reduced energy consumption in the country along with saving the natural resources. It also helps in reducing global warming. We have taken a huge initiative of distributing thousands of crores of LED bulbs. The cost of the bulbs has been reduced to Rs 45. In the beginning when the mobile phones came their prices were very high but today they have reduced a lot. Same thing is going to happen to the solar panels too.
Question: You talked about farmers. In your manifesto you have aimed to double their income by 2022. However, people say that the farmers are still in distress, they are committing suicides in different parts of the country. This is being made a political issue repeatedly. Farmers have been protesting in Delhi, saying no concrete steps have been taken to provide them immediate relief. They say long term is fine for 2022 but they want immediate relief.
Prime Minister: We initiated soil health cards. With these cards, the farmers get to know about the health of their soil immediately. They can decide whether the soil is good for the crop they plan to gorw. Many decided to shift to other crops. Earlier farmers used fertilizers more than actual need. They would use the same pesticides as used by the other farmers. Soil health card is a big move to shift the farmers towards scientific ways of farming. The other big point is MSP. This was a big issue highlighted by the Swaminathan Committee. The UPA government was sitting on the files since 2007. They didn’t care about the farmers. Had it been implemented in 2007, the farmers would have been in a much better state now. We implemented the report and ensured that farmers got 1.5 times the cost. We also increased the scope of MSP. Earlier pulses were not covered under MSP. The third important thing we did was to reduce the agricultural imports to zero and produced the concerned crops in the country. For example, to reduce import of palmolein, we pushed those working in the agriculture sector to produce more palmolein. Reduction in imports will strengthen the farmers of the country. We brought the crop insurance scheme for the first time. Earlier if there was a natural calamity like hailstorm etc, the ways and means of providing relief to the farmers were very llimited. We changed old ways and ensured that the farmers faced no losses. We started eNam scheme to provide the farmers a national market. Farmers can now decide on their mobile phones where can they find a good market for their produce and get good prices. We have done many such things. We have now started Kisan Samman Nidhi to help farmers in distress. Earlier, it was done once in ten years to reap political dividends. During the UPA regime, the net loans of the farmers amounted to Rs 6 lakh crore but they only waived off 52 thousand crore. This clearly was a political gimmick. They cheated the farmers forcing them to commit suicides. Out of the 52 thousand crore, only a few lakhs were given to the people. Many farmers got nothing. The CAG report said that out of total beneficiaries, 35-40 people were not even farmers and hence points towards the pre -designed fraud.
Question: Sir like you just said that the government is going to be formed after 2023. What is the basis of your confidence. The first round of polling has just got over. Now there are six more rounds to go. Today, in a newspaper, a news came came that the government has already fixed its hundred-day agenda. You are talking about 2022. If you are talking about 2047, then what is the reason for this self-confidence?
Prime minister: We have completed Five years with complete dedication ... With full devotion ... I was new.. I kept trying to learn like any eager student ... The biggest advantage was that I was Gujarat's longest serving chief minister, I learnt a lot there. So with all these positives I started work in 2014. And you must have seen that this government never had shortage of work. There is not a single department that has not taken initiatives. We emphasized on policy governance.. We also emphasized on timely delivery.. the sanitation coverage was 38% since independence until 2014, today it is nearly cent percent. So we have been successful in offering the last mile delivery.. We have also doubled the number of LPG gas connections in the last five years. So people are witnessing our speed, watching our scale, and also looking at our work skills. So these five years of hard work and dedication can create confidence in anyone, I'm constantly travelling and meeting people in diffrent corners of India specially during the weekend. I have met different leaders owing to continous travelling.
Question: What is going on in a particular clip ... I was looking at ...
Prime Minister: It was not a road show which happened in Mangalore ... I was passing through a road, people were standing at the side, so I thought that i should look out and greet them. But when I go out I was surprised when it turned out to be huge crowd. I came out to honour their sentiments. ... It was not a road show. and when I saw this clip on social media, someone might have shot it from above.... Yes, I was surprised ... It was visible up to 25- 50 feet from my car... and there was a large number of people around my car ...
Question: You attend so many rallies, what do you think are the issues on people's mind standing infront of you.
Prime Minister: In past five years, we tried addressing those basic human needs which should have been theirs in the first decade of independence. They could not get those needs fulfilled even after 60 years. it was our first priority. And as you know that when I was chosen the NDA Leader, I went to the Central Hall of Parliament and said that my government is dedicated to the poor. In the five years I started to fulfill the needs of the common man. They got home, gas, electricity, education for children, arranged for health, many such unprecedented initiatives by my govt. And in the first five years efforts were made to address those needs, the next five years are now focuused on fulfilling the aspirations and ambitions of India and its citizens.
Question: Sir, if we talk about MANIFESTO, yours or Congress, one thing stands out- i.e. social security, do you believe that this is going to be a big issue in this country.
Prime Minister: First, every government has this obligation, Social Security. Whether it is in MANIFESTO or not, and we have done the same for the last five years, we focussed on a scenario where a citizen gets home to live, ie; under the social security, Ayushman Bharat ensures he gets five lakh rupees as health cover, one rupee i.e. INSURANCE in 90 paisa as social security, and close to it, the data will have to be checked but I don’t remember the exact amount, I remember, 3000 crores rupees corpus for insurances under social security. Question: The opposition alleges that you are using the cover of nationalism to obfuscate the other important issues – Your Comment. Prime Minister: There is small segment of so called secular media which work on the set agenda of targeting Modi and his govt. Let me point out Bofors case. It was directly related to the nationalism. ‘’He’’ is cherry picking the Rafale issue only to hide sins of his father late Rajeev Gandhi. For the past 6 months, he is levelling allegations without producing even an iota of evidence. The idea is to raise the bogey of nationalism and encash voters’ sentiments. Ditto with Chowkidaar, he went around calling names, attacking me, only to lose the battle of perception in the peoples’ court. He is led by a core team with western ideals and this team has limitations. I want to point out that whenever a farmer is killed or commits suicide, it becomes a political issue. But why we fail to apply the same yardstick to the defence forces. Why it should not become a political issue. Since last 40 years, we are fighting against scourge of terrorism and have lost several brave soldiers till now. I don’t see any logic in keeping this issue under wraps. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir too is like an albatross around India’s neck since time of Pandit Nehru. Its 70 years now, we must try find a solution with a different roadmap this time. We do have specific plans pertaining to Art 370 and 35A. I believe in taking the entire nation into confidence on this issue. I also firmly believe in the power of patriotism. It energises the nation. An Indian youth inspired by light of patriotism can certainly bring medals for India in the Olympics.
Question: Sir, Article 370 was always part of BJPs manifesto but its for the first time that Congress is opposing it. Ditto with Art. 35A. Kashmiri leaders like Farookh Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are on record opposing it. They even went to the extent of issuing threat of pulling Kashmir away from India in 2020. Your comment ...
Prime Minister: These leaders are used to such toxic language. They have emotionally exploited and blackmailed since long. They exhorted Kashmiri citizens to boycott panchayat polls whenever they were announced. But these leaders have now run their course. The Kashmiri citizens now refuse to acknowledge them as their leader. For instance, panchayat elections recently held during governor’s rule, were boycotted by them as per habit. Despite of such boycotts the polling percentage was between 70- 75 percent. And today, the elected Sarpanches are successfully running the show in their villages. The funds from the centre directly reaches them. There are no middlemen.
Question: Dear Sir, despite of heat of elections and presence of Nehru-Gandhi family, can we say that the narrative this time revolves around Prime Minister Narendra Modi
PM – In a recent interview, I was asked the same question- My reply was that we believe in raising issues. Currently, we are discussing nepotism. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, in the speeches that he gave in 30s, 40s in Jalandhar and Pune, had ticked nepotism as a huge danger to the democracy. If today, I choose to highlight this issue, then it is to save our democracy. Nepotism blights democratic traditions. This country was run by a family for 55 years. If questions are now raised on my 55 months tenure then they too answerable for 55 years of their rule. As far as calling names are concerned, I come from a humble family that sold tea to earn livelihood. I do not have the privileged background like him which has produced number of prime ministers. Such people consider abusing lesser beings as their privilege. There is huge chasm between our status.
Question: Sir, you said that you are used to expletives thrown at you- so are you the most reviled prime minister this country has ever seen.
Prime Minister: I’m being abused since almost last 2 decades. Every available expletive in the dictionary was used against me but I never lost my composure. I’m serving my nation with full commitment.
Question: What is the reason behind it.
Prime Minister: Simple, they cannot digest the love and affection showered on me by nation and the common man.
Question: Sir, these general elections are being held when India faces many challenges. The borders are under severe stress. Our forces are engaged full time specially in Kashmir. As the Prime Minister your attention is divided on various fronts. How you cope with it.
Prime Minister: I believe in carrying out my duty no matter how tough they are. My experience as a CM too helps me. See, the country is facing problems since independence, the scourge of terrorism and bomb blasts has singed this nation and its cities many times. Though now, we have succeeded in limiting it to the 2-3 districts of J&K. My I my duties towards the nation goes beyond elections. I went to Seoul after the announcements of election were made. We recently also succeeded in launching ASAT missile and became the 4 th nation in the world to do so. So eventually, I believe that the govt must function normally even in face of adversities.
Question: With reference to incidents like Balakot- how you perceive the role of national and international media.
Prime Minister: The people of the country are the final judge. But their increasing dependence on social media is not a good sign.
Question: Sir- There were some recent global media reports undermining the strength and capability of our defence forces. These reports also got traction in the local media. Do you find it unusual? Is this an effort to influence the Indian election?
Prime Minister: I firmly believe that the opposition must draw a line when it comes to national security. They should not cross that thin line while opposing Modi. Unfortunately what starts as anti-Modi campaign ends up landing on anti-national fault lines.
Question: Sir, talking of fake news, you mentioned Rafale, in this case a lot of unverified information found its way in the media. A stream had also filtered in from abroad. Even Rahul Gandhi said that Chowkidaar Chor hai, though Supreme Court did took note of it recently, do you think all this information is used to CREATE narratives.
Prime Minister: I know it’s all lie and I’m hardly bothered. But it’s certainly a cause of concern for a grand old party like Congress. It is relying on such canards to survive. The Congress party worker must seriously introspect on this issue specially after the censuring it got from the Supreme Court. Question: It’s been seen that there are concerted efforts to keep alive the Rafale issue. Articles in global media appear at regular intervals. Do you see a design behind it. Prime Minister: As of now, yes, it’s pretty clear.
Question: So, How will the truth come out?
PM: The truth has come out. The report of the CAG is there. the report of the Supreme Court has arrived, has been kept on the table of Parliament, everythinh is out there. But the media do not dare to tell the truth.
Question: Mr. Prime Minister, now let’s talk in the context of elections, about certain states. You look confident. You are saying that you will form the government. But taliking about Karnakataka - you said that people welcommed you in large numbers. BJP also claims that Karnataka as gateway to South, But the JDS and Congress stopped you even when they contested seperately. This time they are fighting as a single unit. Do you think BJP can repeat its winning performance in the state.
PM: Please remember the Maharashtra scenario- there NCP and Congress were fighting together, they were in power as well. but what was the final result. In Uttar Pradesh assembly elections the Congress-SP together was fighting together. what was the result? In Tripura , there was an informal alliance. In Tripura, Left was in power for a long time. Its history now. Henceforth, such half hearted analysis done by the media means nothing at the ground zero. The situation does not changes there.
Question: Do you also feel the same in Uttar Pradesh as two opposition parties are in coalition. it is believed that this coalition has a very good vote bank, since BJP performed very well last time here. does you see a repeat performance.
PM: Bharatiya Janata Party will perform even better this time. The people of the country, the people of Uttar Pradesh, more than ever and have mad up their mind. Families who have their ancestral seats since the last four decades have run away from the battlefield. If the coalition had this brute strength then it would have supported them. They ran despite of coalition. This reveals the true ground sitaution. I do not have to give any evidence.
Question: You are referring to Amethi?
PM: Yes, I am speaking about Amethi. I have no hesitation in speaking the truth. Question: You think Rahul Gandhi got scared and went to Wayanad seat?
PM: I do not think. It is THE truth.
Question: Mr. Prime Minister, but as we talk about Uttar Pradesh, some people in BJP believe that mahagathbadhan will damage the prospects of the party and that we will be able to compensate for this loss in West Bengal because BJP's position in West Bengal is very good. But Mamata continuos to play hardball.... what do you think about this challenge...
PM: As far as Uttar Pradesh is concerned, I am saying this with full authority that the people of Uttar Pradesh have made up their mind. The people of Uttar Pradesh have come out of crisis after many years. And therefore, they understand the gathbandhan politics very well; they also understand national politics, so please let’s not talk in the name of Uttar Pradesh. Thirdly, you are saying that the government of Bengal is trying all ways to stop BJP. BJP is in a powerful position there that is why they are trying to stop. If you do not have the strength, then they wouldn’t have noticed us. This means that the BJP is getting mass support in West Bengal very fast. They tried sttopping me too, wherever I went. They are not worried about congress, they do not care about the Left. This means that the People of West Bengal have accepted BJP.
Question: About West Bengal, how do you see the politics of Mamta Banerjee in West Bengal? What she did with central agencies. Do you see it as violation of federalism?
PM: I have been chief minister for a long time. All the agencies of the Indian government have troubled me. UPA government was there in the centre for 10 years. For 8 hours policemen have grilled me. I was the Chief Minister. But I still did not speak. I followed the constitution in letter and spirit. So federalism becomes everyone’s responsibility. I leave it to the scholars like you, that what they are doing is right or not, evaluate it and if necessary then write about it. Secondly, what they have done to their people, it is more dangerous. I am more worried about that. Panchayat elections were held. In J & K Panchayat elections were held, there is discussion of terrorism and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of people in Jammu and Kashmir came out victorious in Panchayat elections. Not a single incident occurred at any polling booth. There was no single incident of violence. There was not a single village in West Bengal where there was no violence, and people were killed in very large numbers. It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure safety of its own citizens and elections of the district council, taluka, election of panchayat elections. The media of this country has suppressed this matter. The amount of truth that was supposed to come out did not come out. Because of that, now they are enjoying going on this path and there is no one to question.
Question: In this regard, they accuse and Congress also supports them that your government is politically using the central agencies in a wrong way?
PM: There is no such evidence. The cases in UPA’s time, if its process is going on, the court is asking to do this and do that. Now what the courts say, they should do it nor not? Secondly let’s assume in the train 5 to 25 people are going and a small leader is also going and gets caught without ticket, so if there is an election going on, that leader should not be held? Election is being held if he is travelling without ticket in the railway so he should not be held. Does this happen? Law is for everyone, for me as well.
Question: Sir, we discussed about Bengal and you said in the context of justice, Congress dismissed the state governments, in the same context, if I see the figure after independence about 124 times the central government has sacked (dismissed) the state government. But when such violence took place in Bengal. When political activists in Bengal were murdered, not only the BJP but the political workers of Congress also were murdered. In Kerala BJPCongress workers were killed, RSS too. People have been saying that this is fit case of imposing Art. 356, but still you refused to react.
PM: In my opinion, even in Jammu and Kashmir, we used to wait for the government to be formed. We kept the Assembly in Suspended n Animation, but when there was no possibility of government formation we had no option but to impose 356. it should be the last resort.
Question: I once again come back to Karnataka and South politics. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, especially in Tamil Nadu it is happening after many years that there is no such personality as Jayalalitha. DMK does not have big leaders, then how do you see politics for BJP in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Especially as your hopes are high for Karnataka?
PM: Bharatiya Janata Party will perform well in South. Take any state of South whether it is Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Question: Sir, let’s deviate from election talk. In coming years, our country will have a large number of middle class. You have talked about it in past few days. It was mentioned In the budget tax rebate also . How do you see their aspirations and means to fulfill it?
PM: You have asked the right questions. The guide and philosopher of Congress Party has come especially from America. They gave a statement that middleclass is selfish and tax has to be implemented on them. The Congress party is officially saying that if they come into the government, they will break the middle class. My conviction is that the bulk of the middle class is increasing in the country. By nature middle class does not have the habit of doing anything wrong. They live as law abiding citizen and are a growing class of our country. Even today the highest contributors towards tax etc. are the middleclass people. We have neglected middleclass people for many years. Our opinion is middleclass should get respect, should get opportunity. For many years the middle class was demanding for more than 2 lakh concession in income tax. Many governments came and went. Keeping in mind the middle class with income of 5 lakh, now there is no income tax up to Rs 5 lakh. In the same way, the Home loan, It is the dream of Middle class to have their own home. For the first time a government thought for the urban middle class. This has happened for the first time that any government has thought about the middle class. For housing sector, we introduced RERA. The builder community used to loot middle class… a person from middle class family used to run from pillar to post for a house and yet was never satisfied with the end result. Middle class was hassled for a house. To protect the rights of middle class, we introduced RERA. We have introduced many policies that will benefit middle class now and even in near future. Middle class, noveau middle class…or those who have managed to step out of poverty need special attention. This huge block of population, I believe will be the force that will change India’s fate. This has happened for the first time that any government has thought about the middle class. For housing sector, we introduced RERA. The builder community used to loot middle class… a person from middle class family used to run from pillar to post for a house and yet was never satisfied with the end result. Middle class was hassled for a house for the longest. To protect the rights of middle class, we introduced RERA. We have introduced many policies that will benefit middle class now and even in near future. Middle class, neo middle class…or those who have managed to step out of poverty would need special attention. This huge block of population, I believe will be the force that will change India’s fate.
Question: Prime Minister sir, I would like to shift focus back to elections…especially on your home state Gujarat. In 2014 elections, Gujarat became congress-mukt, you won all 26 seats but when assembly elections were held, BJP could not touch the figure of 100 and was stopped at 99. You are not even contesting from Vadodara this time…some people feel that after BJP’s hold has weaken after you have made your way to Delhi.
Prime Minister: The Bharatiya Janata Party started emerging in Gujarat from 1987-88. We fought in one Lok Sabha election in alliance with Chimanbhai Patel. BJP got 12 seats and others had 14 seats. We won 12 out of 12 and they won 11 out of 14…. So even at our first attempt we did not get 26 out of 26, but we won all 12 seats. And this time too, Gujarat will vote for BJP and we will win from all 26 seats. It is natural that people of Gujarat prefer development.
Question: With growing population, it will be difficult to provide opportunities to all… how will you be able to tackle these aspirations of the new generation?
Prime Minister: In India, ambit of middle class is growing rapidly…we have over 800 million youth… we must consider this as an asset. India is undergoing urbanisation and we have not considered this as a challenge… but have taken it as an opportunity. This lot will become the growth centre… Thirdly, India’s talent has become part of world’s biggest eco system… that is of Start-up. Who is behind this revolution? Not someone at the age of 40-50 but they are the youth… There are some entrepreneurs, who are making selling their 2-3 year old start up to other companies… So, a new sector has come up. Hence to benefit them, we have given them money without guarantee through Mudra Yojana. We have opened all doors of financial help for these budding entrepreneurs. 17 crore people have taken advantage of it, and out of these…. 4.25 crore people are those who have taken money from the bank for the first time. We want to strengthen technology, build modern infrastructure… for all this we would need lots of talent… We want to make world class infrastructures… we would require such talent in these field too. It’s the power of youth that will take the country forward.
Question: That’s correct, but don’t you think you must also focus on growing population? The growing population will sooner or later will put immense pressure on present resources.
Prime Minister: First of all people have to be educated….just how southern states have managed to achieve tremendous success in controlling population growth… Those states that have worked hard to reduce population growth will not be unjustified by the Finance Commission. The commission has taken up this role for the first time. In a way, this will benefit the people….This is also a way to strengthen the states.
Question: Prime Minister, in the last five years, your government's economic policies has been debated worldwide…. There has been a report of the IMF two days ago, which says that India will be the fastest growing economy…at the same time, actions taken by your government against NPA was appreciated but there are certain reports that say it is a jobless growth and steps like demonetisation, GST have caused damage
Prime Minister: Only those people are crying over demonetisation who had to lose something. Those who have unaccounted cash were troubled by the demonetisation and so they kept crying, but today it has been proven that our steps were right and due to which the formal economy has got strengthened in the country. Those who earn money honestly, those who do not have any black money… is now able to purchase things from the market. Earlier they were not able to because people used to ask for 50% cash and 50% cheque. … But how will that person get black money from? So this was a huge issue for the honest lot. Secondly, we have increased tax bracket too…If you would have noticed, since Independence number of people filing their taxes have doubled. Whether it’s World Bank, IMF or other group… they all have accepted India as the fastest growing world economy and even in future India will be counted in the list of fastest growing economies. Thirdly, before 2014, before we came into power… When India stood at 11th number at the world economy… our the then Finance Minister celebrated the event with much fervour… And we have managed to take it to number six… and very soon we will reach the number five spot. So, whatever the current situation is… one need to understand it better. This is not even an issue. Those people can continue criticising it.
Question- You said that there are no issues. Some issues have been created in the last 5 years. Some said that there is a state of undeclared emergency in the country. Some people started returning their awards. It was also said that under your Government, citizens don’t have freedom of speech. Such incidents have been constantly happening. How do you view this?
Prime Minister- One, the people of the country did not pay heed any of these people. The people of the country did not accept what they were being told by these people. So this is a specific set of people. What is the reason behind all that was being said? The biggest reason is the people that make up this set. This aspect is not discussed in our country. You have asked a good question. So, I want to inform the people of the country. In our country, there is a law for bringing wealth from abroad as a donation, and under that law, whoever brings money from abroad, be it for an organization, or charity, or education, or health, has to give an account to the government, compulsorily. There was no accounting. Money from abroad kept coming in. We came and tried to follow the law. We sent letters, asked the people who had been receiving money from abroad to account for it. You’ll be surprised to know that there were 20 thousand people… 20 thousand organizations who declined to give us information. They did not even put in fresh applications. This clearly meant that the money which was coming in was being used for wrongful activities. It was being used to damage the country. Now, definitely these people were indulging in wrongful activities. In these 20 thousand organizations, somebody or the other would have a link. Now these shops got closed when Modi took such a big step. If there are 20 thousand such powerful people, then there will be some people from among them, who would misguide other people to spread such hoax.
Question- Prime Minister, one final question for you ... Manmohan Singh, who was the Prime Minister before you… He gave a statement which was debated upon a lot… he said that the resources of this country should be the first right of one particular religion. What is your take on it?
Prime Minister- In that meeting, I was present as Chief Minister and when Manmohan Singhji said such a thing, the whole House was shocked, people were astonished as to what he was speaking … and at the same time, I came out and gave a byte that first rights on the resources of this country are that of the poor, the downtrodden, the victims, the exploited. We should not paint the resources of our country with the color of one sect. Such vote bank politics should not be practiced and such a declaration from the Prime Minister's mouth, on such an important forum will never acceptable this country. I had said that day and I am still saying that the resources of this country should be used for the future of the country… should be used for every poor of the country.
Question- Prime Minister, since the elections are going on… our best wishes for you … and thank you very much for giving time to DD Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV.
Prime Minister- I am also grateful to Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV for this opportunity to meet you your audience through you. Thanks a lot.