From demonetisation, Ram Temple to former RBI governor Urjit Patel's exit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the air on several issues in his first interview of 2019 to ANI's Smita Prakash on Monday.
PM Modi was asked: Criticism is that your foreign trips are a lot and they are limited to mere photo ops and no concrete steps emerge out of it?
Replying on opposition's criticism on the number of his foreign trips, he said:
"All PMs have had more or less a similar travel schedule and number of trips. If you count. There are a number of multiple forums which you will have to attend. Summit-level meetings etc. The voices are not heard if anyone less than a Prime Minister visits, therefore it is necessary to go. Manmohan Singh Ji also had to do this. It has become mandatory. I try that India’s voice reaches the world. Earlier, when PM used to go, nobody used to notice it. In my case, everyone notice my visit as I interact with people and make important decisions. I think I should do it also."
When asked about what he schemes he plans for the middle class, PM Modi said:
"As far as the middle class is concerned, we will have to change our thinking. Middle class never lives on someone’s mercy. They live with dignity and is that strata of the society which contributes the most when it comes to running the country. He is the one who is concerned about the lower class as well, therefore, it is our responsibility to think about the middle class, not because they vote for us. But in the interest of the country. There was a time when inflation touched 18% and we have brought it down to 2-3% and the biggest and straight benefit goes to the middle class. If price rise is controlled the direct benefit goes to the middle class as they can’t compromise on daily expenses, so they get relief if there is no price rise. If we increase medical seats, who benefits? It's the middle class".
When asked whether Modi wave is over as vote share is not getting converted into seats, PM Modi said :
"First and foremost, I want to greet all those who say that Modi wave is over because when they say this they accept that there is something known as Modi magic. At the same time, just notice that there are a set of people say this. These people may have increased or decreased in numbers but their agenda is to keep setting new narratives. I am happy that they accept, there is a word called Modi wave or Modi magic. I believe that there is only one type of wave and it's the wave of a person's hope and believes. The wave is of the belief that who will fulfil our demands. Today, I can see these beliefs, I can see the aspirations of youth and this in itself is giving birth to a new belief, trust and hope in our country".
Furthermore, talking about opposition's claim that Modi magic has died down and the BJP may not get more 180 seats, he answered that he has faith in the common man and the youth of this country.
He also refuted arguments that no action had been taken against names involved in the 2G, CWG and other assorted alleged scams that occupied news cycles in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that his government has cracked the whip and acted against all.
Taking aim on the `First Family' of the Congress, Prime Minister Modi said that those who ran the country for four generations, are today facing charges of financial irregularities and are out on bail. Tongue firmly in cheek, he responded to the remark that those accused in the scams were taking walks in Lodhi Garden, saying that those on bail had freedom given by courts to walk in the park.