With less than a week remaining for the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra to begin, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday gave an exclusive interview, speaking on a wide range of topics with Republic Media Network Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
Ranging from his assessment of the crucial state polls and the achievements of the BJP-led government in the poll-bound states to the Ayodhya case, and from his role as the president of the BJP to the state of the nation's economy, the Home Minister left little unanswered. Among other things, Home Minister Amit Shah gave an assurance over the PMC bank scam, as well as the opposition's claims of political vendetta. He also spoke frankly about former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, the revocation of Article 370 and subsequent developments in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, including on Pakistan.
Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah declared that the party will win with two-third majority in both the states. He cited the developmental works undertaken by the Chief Ministers of the BJP governments in Haryana and Maharashtra in five years. He also said that the progress will continue with the double engine government.
When asked on the alleged links of NCP with D-gang-connected families, the Union Home Minister assured that the government will leave no stone unturned to punish those involved with Dawood Ibrahim. He further stated that the Congress and NCP should clarify their connections with D-gang.
#ShahOnRepublic | ED will investigate but Congress and Sharad Pawar should clarify their stand on links with Hazra Bibi: Home Minister Amit Shah— Republic (@republic) October 15, 2019
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When asked about the economic slowdown, Amit Shah said that there is a global slowdown and India is not isolated to that. He said that there should be a comparative analysis of the slowdown.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday addressed the PMC bank scam which has left thousands of depositors unable to access their savings. He assured the depositors that their interests will be protected as Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized more amount than the actual amount of the fraud.
Shah stated that India would respond to any aggression from Pakistan in a mature manner. Responding to a specific question about the possibility of Pakistan attempting a terror attack, he opined that it was too speculative to answer. Shah maintained that there was hardly any possibility of an attack after India’s strong response to Uri and Pulwama. Taking an indirect dig at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who recently threatened a bloodbath and called for 'Jihad', Shah highlighted India’s democratic tradition and observed that he could not answer like Khan.
Shah said that the government did not come to the decision to abrogate Article 370 in a day and that the BJP has been including the revocation in all its manifestos. Amit Shah said that "since the time Article 370 came into existence, the party was working towards revoking it - first as the Jan Sangh, and later as the BJP."
Dismissing claims of political vendetta, Amit Shah that if at all the BJP wanted to plot a political vendetta then Chidambaram would have been jailed earlier. He said that investigative agencies do not work as per the timeline of parties. He also added that if it would be vendetta, Chidambaram would have gotten bail.
When asked about his meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister, he said that it was a general meeting between the Home Minister of the country and a chief minister.
Home Minister Amit Shah when asked about the 'Indian Muslims For Peace' organisation offering the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi land to the Hindus even if the court's order was in favour of the Muslim parties, said that the time 'offering the land to the Hindus' was over, and that this offer could have been made during mediation was occurring and not now. He urged all parties to peacefully accept the Supreme Court's verdict.
#ShahOnRepublic | Hearing on Ayodhya case is almost over, whatever the court now decides should be accepted by all parties: Home Minister Amit Shah— Republic (@republic) October 15, 2019
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Home Minister Amit Shah addressed numerous questions in relation to Congress, including over the claim that he and the BJP have an axe to grind with the first Prime Minister of India, Jawarharlal Nehru. To this, Shah said, “I don't have a problem with Nehru, I have a problem with what Nehru did.” The Home Minister further said, “How did Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir come into existence when our army was winning and we were defeating the infiltrators from Pakistan? When we were defeating the Pakistani army and our soldiers were sacrificing their lives and winning, what was the need to go to the UN?
#ShahOnRepublic | I have a problem with why he took the Kashmir issue to UN, not Nehruji. Why a unilateral ceasefire when Indian Army was winning? Had there not been a ceasefire, there would not have been a PoK today: Amit Shahhttps://t.co/jghcajZuXf pic.twitter.com/fBOY4aMR60— Republic (@republic) October 15, 2019
When asked on those raising anti-national slogans, Home Minister Amit Shah said that criticism of BJP and its leaders is freedom of expression. But raising anti-national slogans in name of freedom of expression is wrong. And those will be punished.
#ShahOnRepublic | People who raised slogans 'Bharat ke tukde honge', BJP jailed them while Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal called it freedom of expression: Home Minister Amit Shah— Republic (@republic) October 15, 2019
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Union Minister Amit Shah stated how 1 Nation, 1 Law is a core BJP agenda. He said: "I would like to say that the Uniform Civil Code is a part of our manifesto and we stand by our decision and we think that this should happen."