In an interview to ANI, the Prime Minister targeted opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi, spoke against dynasty politics, and touched upon issues like farm laws and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
Here are the highlights of the Prime Minister’s interview …
On upcoming elections in 5 states
Speaking about the elections in five states, which will kick off tomorrow with the first phase of voting in UP, PM Modi said that BJP will come to power with an absolute majority everywhere.
“I have seen in all states that there is the inclination towards the BJP and we will win the elections with a full majority. The people of all these five states will give BJP the opportunity to serve them,” h said.
The Prime Minister denied any atmosphere of anti-incumbency in states where BJP received the opportunity to work, adding that there is an atmosphere of “pro-incumbency.”
“Wherever BJP got the opportunity to work with stability, there the environment is of ‘pro-incumbency’ instead of ‘anti-incumbency’. The BJP always emerges victoriously with ‘pro-incumbency’ in elections,” the Prime Minister said.
The first phase of polling will take place across 58 constituencies in UP on February 10. Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will also go to polls in the coming weeks.
On Rahul Gandhi’s attack in Parliament
The Prime Minister slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his attack on the Centre over issues like the India-China border dispute and rising unemployment in Parliament
The Prime Minister said that detailed answers to Rahul’s questions were given by respective ministries and he had also spoken on some subjects whenever and wherever it was necessary.
Taking the attack to Rahul, PM Modi said the Congress leader is a “person who does not listen and does not sit in the House.”
Stressing that he welcomes debate in Parliament, PM Modi said that he and his government do not attack anyone and believe in dialogue.
“We don’t attack anyone, instead we believe in holding dialogue. At times, there are debates (vaad-vivaad), interruptions (toka-taki) (in Parliament), I welcome this and that is why I don’t have any reason to be miffed (on these subjects),” he said.
‘Dynastic politics biggest enemy of democracy’
The Prime Minister, who has often targeted “dynastic politics” in the run up to the polls, reiterated his diatribe and said that it is the biggest enemy of democracy.
PM Modi said there is a difference between one or two people from a family getting tickets and winning elections and all important political positions in a party going to a particular family in the party.
He said in dynastic parties, positions like the president, parliamentary board chief are held by a person and if the father is not there for some reason, the son replaces him.
Without naming any party, PM Modi said two political parties in Jammu and Kashmir practiced dynastic politics for decades. He said dynastic politics also prevailed in parties in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.
The Prime Minister said more talent entering public life is good for the country.
“The biggest casualty in parties which save a family is talent. The democratisation of political parties is important. The dynastic politics stops youth from entering politics,” he said.
Govt has no business to do business. Its job is to think about food for the poor, make houses & toilets for them, g… https://t.co/VgG1EwtypD
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Potshots at SP
Throughout the interview, the Prime Minister took frequent potshots at SP, which is considered as the principal challenger to the BJP in UP.
Elaborating his “fake Samajwadi” jibe at SP, he said these parties were concerned only about “parivarvad”.
PM Modi said he had received a letter in the past which mentioned that there were as many as 45 people from the Yadav family in SP who hold various positions.
“Someone sent me a letter once that in Samajwadi Pary in Uttar Pradesh there were 45 people from the family who held some positions. Someone else told me all those of around 25 years in age got the opportunity to contest elections. Is this dynastic politics is a threat for democracy?” he asked.
The Prime Minister referred to socialist leaders Ram Manhor Lohia and George Fernandes and asked if they ever laid thrust on their families. He said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, an ally of BJP at the Centre and in Bihar, is also a socialist leader.
“I am for the society. When I say fake socialism, it is ‘parivarvad’. Do you see Lohia’s family anywhere, he was a socialist; do you see the family of George Fernandes, he was also a Samajwadi. Nitish Babu, he is working with us, he is also a socialist. Do you see his family?” he asked.
On SP-RLD challenge in UP
Asked about the optics for the first phase of polls in UP, where Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Chaudhary are pitted against a “powerful” Yogi, the Prime Minister quipped that “we have seen this ‘do ladko ka khel’ before as well”.
He was referring to the SP-Congress tie-up for the 2017 polls in UP, when their poll campaign was centered around Akhilesh Yadav-Rahul Gandhi bonhomie.
“We saw this ‘do ladko wala khel’ earlier too. They had so much arrogance that they used phrases like ‘Gujarat ke do gadhe’. But the people of Uttar Pradesh taught them a lesson. Then there were ‘two boys’ and a ‘bua ji’ with them… that too didn’t work out,” he said.
On farm laws, Lakhimpur Kheri incident
The Prime Minister also touched upon other hot-button issues like the scrapped farm laws and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
PM Modi that the three farm laws, which triggered a massive year-long agitation, were introduced for the benefit of farmers and have been withdrawn in the interests of the country.
The Prime Minister said the issue does not need to be explained anymore, adding that Future events will make it clear why these steps were necessary.
On being asked whether the government is open to dialogue with farmers over the farm bills, PM Modi said that dialogue and discussion are the basis of democracy.
Speaking about the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni and his son are an accused, the Prime Minister said the UP government is doing its role in a transparent manner.
“The government gave its consent for whatever committee Supreme Court wanted to form, for whichever judge SC wanted for probe. It is working transparently,” he said.
On security breach incident in Punjab
The Prime Minister refused to comment on the issue of his security breach in Punjab’s Ferozepur, saying it could impact the Supreme Court-mandated investigation.
“I have maintained silence on the issue. The Supreme Court is looking into the matter seriously. Any statement that I make in this regard will impact the investigation, and it is not right,” he said.
Expressing trust in the judiciary, PM Modi said, “Whatever it is, the Supreme Court’s committee will bring the truth before the nation. We should wait till then.”
(With inputs from ANI)