In a comprehensive interview to ANI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday covered a lot of ground as he discussed various topics like GST, Ram temple, Surgical Strike, Rafale deal and more. Here are the key takeaways from the interaction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Earlier, there were so many hidden taxes. The tax rates were also high. GST has made things simpler. It has also brought down the taxes on so many commodities. Our approach is to keep taking feedback constantly and work on the GST. The GST council has a wide range of members. There are state Governments too, many of them where BJP is not in power. Whatever is happening is happening through consensus. We are committed to hearing all issues being faced by people and placing them in front of the GST Council. Feedback of the people is most important for us. GST has to be simple and consumer friendly. Work is constantly going on in this direction.”
On Farm Loan waiver
Focusing on making farmers debt free, PM Modi said, “We are talking about farm loan waivers and this invariably gets linked with the polls. We should also be thinking about structural issues- how can we empower the farmers, ensure more water, greater credit, better markets. Why does a farmer become debt-ridden? I want a situation where a farmer never has to be debt-ridden in the first place. There is a small segment of farmers who take loans from banks. A majority of them take loans from money lenders. When governments make such announcements, those farmers do not become beneficiaries of waivers. The farmers who are dying are out of the purview of such schemes. It was our Government that took the historic decision on better MSP for farmers. Why did we do this- so that the farmer does not have to rely on debts and the farmer becomes more prosperous. For me, farmer welfare is not about politics. I want to do everything possible to improve the lives of our farmers.”
On Triple Talaq
PM Said, “The Ordinance on Triple Talaq came in the light of a verdict by the Supreme Court. It did not come before that. For years, why was there no determined effort to end Triple Talaq? Triple Talaq is not a religion issue. This is about gender justice. Several Islamic nations have banned it.”
Clearing his stand on Rafale controversy, PM Modi said, “On Rafale, I have spoken in Parliament and in various public meetings. The Indian Supreme Court has given their views and the French President has also spoken. For them, my crime is I am working on make in india for being self-sufficient in defence. My crime is that I am focussing on whatever defence forces need. I do not care about their abuses, I will do my work and strengthen the armed forces. I am working with honesty.”
On Surgical Strike
“On the surgical strikes, there are some political parties who began to speak the same language as Pakistan. These parties were demeaning our armed forces. They politicised such an issue. As the PM, I will always appreciate the armed forces. Pakistan will never improve on the basis of one war. That nation will still take some time to improve. All PMs of India, across all parties, never opposed dialogue with Pakistan. But, can we hear anything in the midst of bombs? Today, terror-supporting Pakistan is isolated,” PM added.
On Ram Temple
On Ram Temple ordinance, PM Modi said, “I want to appeal to the Congress not to use their lawyers to delay the judicial process on the Ram Temple. Let the judicial process take its own course. Don’t weigh it in political terms. Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever be our responsibility as a government, we are ready to make all efforts.”
On 2019 Lok Sabha elections
PM Modi said, “For Opposition leaders, Modi is the issue. On different days, they take turns to abuse Modi. You will hear nothing from them about their vision for India. In 2019, the people of India will set the agenda. They know who is with their aspirations and who is not. The people of India are seeing how leaders who want to loot are closing ranks and forming alliances. 2019 is going to be about the people of India versus an Opposition alliance. The first test of the alliance was in Telangana and we have seen what has happened to the alliance. What happened to the alliance in Tripura, Assam. Everybody can see. Their top leaders can close ranks but the people will never connect with this.”