With the 2019 Lok Sabha polls just a fortnight away, PM Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami spoke about a plethora of issues concerning the nation.
During the interview, PM Modi was asked about there having been a perception battle against him for the past 12-18 months, as his opponents keep questioning why he let fugitives such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi flee from the country.
In response, PM Modi said, "My biggest crime is that.. and I committed that crime in the national interest, for the betterment of the nation: When my government was formed and I got to know about the economic condition of the country and the state of banks, I had two alternatives before me."
He elaborated, "One was that I bring a white paper on the state of the economy and the banking system and reveal before the nation how people looted the country, how money was distributed. The other option before me was to keep quiet and face the humiliation but in the national interest, despite my personal loss, I try handling the situation first. I put things on track first and then take one step after the other."
"I didn't choose the path of selfish politics. If Modi has to face humiliation, so be it. If Mofi has to face abuses, so be it. But I will first fix the economic situation and the banking system - I stressed non that. In the meantime, those who had taken money, it was a conspiracy. First they take the money, then show something on papers, then keep the money and later enjoy. All those things came to an end. They came to an end because of our actions, due to which they were forced to flee. And all these people are waiting for those (Congress) to come to power, so that they can return happily. They fled, why should I spare them? So we brought in a law that enabled the Indian government to confiscate property of fugitives in any part of the world. You must have seen in the case of Vijay. He owed banks Rs 9000 crore but the government has confiscated his properties worth Rs 14,000 crore across the world," the Prime Minister said.
As a consequence, "Now, he is in trouble because we are taking double the amount," the PM said, adding, "All of them, take all their names. Secondly, didn't people flee previously? Didn't people flee with the country's money? Previous governments did nothing. They didn't even tell the country their names and that number is a big one. Nobody came back, nobody returned the money. There were top businessmen who used to take money from banks and then enjoy. We brought in the bankruptcy law, they've lost their companies and are now on the footpath. Their companies are in the hands of proper managements now. So we have taken steps. These people are fleeing because we are taking these steps."