Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jingoistic statements have often made the headlines and it could be argued that this is a welcome change after a prime minister who remained economical with his words over eight years. Modi has been very vocal about his aspirations for the country, his foreign policies and his criticism for rival parties, and has recently begun giving a spate of interviews. Here’s a composite look at what he said on issues of national interest in his Times Now, Economic Times and Indian Express interviews:
The achievements of the Central government
Despite the fact that he is new to the job and to Delhi, the pace at which the country has moved forward since the NDA-led Central government took charge is commendable, said Modi. If comparisons with previous governments are drawn, he claimed there was no issue that was ignored by the BJP. The common people felt helpless because of the scams, falling share prices and high inflation. According to the prime minister, all these issues have disappeared now and a strong foundation has been laid.
Fundamentally, the changes in the Cabinet are a natural thing after two years. It is the proper time for a review. It is not a change but rather an expansion. He added that the purpose of the Cabinet reshuffle is to boost the budget.
World leaders have changed their perspective of India since the Modi government took hold, he said. It is important for him to engage with other global leaders for them to understand India’s head of state. It is his responsibility to enhance the global acceptance of India, he said.
NSG and China’s opposition
Modi has full faith that after getting the MTCR membership, India will soon be inducted into the NSG too. The process has begun on a positive note. India also has an ongoing dialogue with China. Both the countries have a number of problems with each other. However, China is cooperating with India to reach to a practical solution. “India and China are neighbours, important players in Asia and increasingly significant actors on the global stage. We need to work together more, understand each other’s interests and priorities and be sensitive to mutual concerns and interests,” he told Indian Express.
India’s relations with the US
There has been warmth in the relationship, as Modi said. He even called both the countries 'natural allies'. The relationship has played and will continue to play an important role in strengthening democratic values.
The first point in Modi’s philosophy is to reach the last man in the line. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay's philosophy forms the core of his government's political, economic and social ideology. It is about how the poorest of the poor can benefit from its schemes. The poor is the central focus of the government's economic policy. All the schemes that his government launches are meant to empower the poor and change the quality of life.
Until the Modi government invests in the development of infrastructure, there will be no job creation, Modi said. He accepts that the demand for jobs is very high in India because around 800 million people are below the age of 35. One aspect of his policies are Start Up India, Stand Up India, Seaport activity, port activity, railways expansion, railway station upgradation. Giving an example of Stand Up India, Modi claimed that he asked every bank to give an economic opportunity to one woman, one Dalit or one tribal person to become entrepreneurs.
Under the Mudra Yojana, more than three crore people have been given a loan of nearly 1.25 lakh crore without any guarantee. When these people expand their business, they will in turn employ more people. This is how the Modi government plans on increasing employment.
As soon as the Modi government took charge, the first decision that they took was to form a Special Investigation Team to bring back black money which was pending despite the Supreme Court’s 2011 order, he said, adding that the laws have been made very stringent. The government is signing agreements with other nations so that they can share information with our country. They have also made changes to the old treaty with Mauritius to help fight the black money menace.
Modi had high hopes in the previous Parliament session and his government is working sincerely to get the bill passed. Not having GST is a loss for the people of Uttar Pradesh and the poor people of Bihar, Bengal, Assam, Orissa. The poor states of India will economically benefit the most from the GST. Modi hoped that the decision is soon passed in the interest of the poor.
Uttar Pradesh elections
Uttar Pradesh has its importance, said Modi. According to him, the only way to save the state is through development and only a BJP government can guarantee that. The state has declined in education and industrial development. He claimed that he even fought the 2014 General Election on the issue of development. The Union government has approved projects worth more than Rs one lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh. Of this, Rs 68,000 crore is for roads and Rs 27,000 crore for railway, power and petroleum projects.
Working with the Opposition
Modi said that his government has made significant efforts to strike a working relationship with the Opposition. They have been trying to take everyone together. However, in a democracy, there will always be parties with their own strategies. The intention remains to seek consensus and reach a general agreement.
The farmers’ crisis is related to water management, Modi said. During the drought days, he said he met leaders from 11 states separately and discussed about the possible solutions. After Independence, he claimed it is the first time that the government has implemented a Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana that can cover maximum number of farmers. The farmer will have to pay only two percent and the government will take care of the rest.
The farmers will get an assurance. Agriculture is a state subject but the Central government has also taken initiatives, he said. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana has direct involvement of the Central government, it will have great benefits, he assured.