Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview to a News Channel talked at length about the two years of his government.
This is the first interview of Narendra Modi after becoming Prime Minister. In an 85-minute interview PM talked about various initiatives of his government.
PM on mood in India:
"In a short span, the nation has moved ahead and it is not only in one or few sectors. All aspects have been touched."
"There was a spirit of disappointment and pessimism when we assumed office. A new spirit of trust had to be created."
"We had said that within a time frame we will open bank accounts for the poor, something that has not been done till now."
"Biggest strength of our foreign policy- political stability. After 30 years a government with a full majority was elected."
PM on his foreign policy:
"I was not born into a political family so meeting world leaders was not something I had done as a regular part of my life."
"Geo-politics has changed. World is more inter-dependent and interconnected. People-to-people ties matter tremendously."
"For us, no nation is small. Every nation has equal relevance. For example, see India's ties with Pacific Islands."
PM on his Pakistan policy:
"India always seeks friendly ties with neighbours. Had invited SAARC leaders for my oath taking ceremony also."
"We will perform our duty, be it on the table or on our borders."
"We are very proud of our Jawans for their courage."
"Our supreme aim is peace and to safeguard the interests of India."
"Our Jawans have the full freedom, they have been answering and will continue to answer in an appropriate language."
"We don't need to explain to the world the role of India. Pakistan is having problems to answer. The world is seeing this."
"Today the world understands the points India has been making on terrorism. It was not the case earlier."
PM on economic policy of his government:
"We believe in Antyodaya, inspired by the ideals of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya."
"Mahatma Gandhi spoke of empowering the poor. Poor can't be kept poor, they need to be empowered to emerge out of poverty."
PM on RBI Governor's exit:
"Patriotism of Mr. Raghuram Rajan is no less than our patriotism. He is someone who loves & will serve India wherever he is."
PM on his government's efforts to bring in black money:
"Our first cabinet decision was on Black Money. At G-20 forum also this issue was raised for the first time & consensus formed on it."
PM on functioning of Parliament:
"Debate and discussion have to happen in Parliament. Saddest part is people running away from this spirit of debate."
"The duty of preserving this unique character of parliament lies with every democracy loving citizen. We are ready to debate all issues."
PM on role of opposition:
"Saying the Opposition disrupts is unfair. There are parties opposed to the BJP/NDA yet they want Parliament to function."
"Yes, one party does have a problem and the world knows which party that is."
"They were in Government for years, they can't do this. If a new party does this, maybe it is understandable."
PM on GST:
"Not passing GST is injustice to the poor and some states in particular. Those in the Rajya Sabha should understand this."
"Be it, Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar, Akhilesh Yadav and Naveen Patnayak ... they all seek passage of GST."
PM on development as agenda and he being against communal agenda:
"The youth of this nation believes in development and it is development that can solve people's problems."
PM on holding General and Assembly elections together:
"The Election Commission has great respect and all parties respect it immensely."
"It will be better if the EC initiates the process of electoral reforms."
"Election commission calls all party meeting about holding General and Assembly election simultaneously."
PM on his hectic schedule:
"The nation is so big, the more one works it is better."
"I feel that officers in PMO have not got used to work at his pace."
PM on what his government is doing for farmers:
"Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana will bring great benefits."
"PM stresses on issues like harvesting, crop insurance, food processing, soil health card and others to protect farmers."
"Just adding 5% natural fruit juice to aerated water can ensure farmers get value for their fruits."
"PM Fasal Beema Yojana helps in case they are not able to sow seeds also."
PM on if thinks of 2019 and what motivates him:
"If you see without any bias, you will see that I am an apolitical Prime Minister."
"My sole focus is on governance. Governments cannot be run only keeping polls in mind. Government is about people's aspirations."
"I attend government function and only talk about governance. I don't believe in governing to win election."
"We all have to give something to the poor. And we are accountable as far as the money of the people is concerned. Looting cannot happen."
"Pay tax on undisclosed income as after 30th September government will take action come what may. After September 30, I will not care for polls but take steps; I have taken a strong stand."
"I am never burdened by issues. I believe in solving issue. I am fine facing consequences of it. Negative criticism doesn't affect me."