Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke exclusively to Republic Media Network's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in his first interview since sounding poll bugle after holding a series of rallies ahead of the Lok Sabha 2019 polls.
He answered a host of questions which could play a key role in the upcoming elections. Though, during his interaction, the Prime Minister also slammed the previous governments for failing to take any kind of action against the defaulters who ran away from the country.
Citing the BJP-led NDA government's tough stand on the absconding economic offenders, PM Modi felt that the Opposition, especially Congress, has no right in asking the present government questions on this matter.
"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," said the Prime Minister in his stinging attack on the previous ruling parties.
He then went onto highlight the measures taken by his government in making sure that such individuals are brought to justice, and that the amount they fled away with is recovered.
"We brought in the 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," PM Modi added.
Not referring to any particular individual, PM Modi's claims come at a time when the extradition process of the likes of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi is gaining pace.
The former Kingfisher boss had fled the country after defrauding Indian banks to a tune of Rs 9000 crore. Though, the Modi government has already recovered Rs 14,000 crores from confiscating his properties and is closing in on bringing him back to the country.
As for Nirav Modi, the diamantaire saw his bungalow in Alibag recently demolished, and assets like paintings and cars confiscated and sold off. Further, he was also arrested by UK police in London recently, and his extradition process is also in process.