Modi’s CNN interview: How politicians, intellectuals & common man reacted?

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Ahead of his highly anticipated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first exclusive interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria has received positive response from across the political spectrum and social networking sites.

[Read the full transcript of the interview here]

What all PM Modi said in the interview?

Prime Minister’s allies and supporters gave a thumbs up to his first ever international interview while his critics and political opponents continued attacking him. What all PM Modi said in the interview?

Replying to a question on what he did for relaxation, put to him in an exclusive interview to CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

The PM said, “Look, I'm not the 'not-working' type. I derive pleasure from my work. Work gives me relaxation too. Every moment, I am thinking of something new - making a new plan, new ways to work. In the same way that a scientist draws pleasure from long hours in the laboratory, I draw pleasure in governance, in doing new things and bringing people together. That pleasure is sufficient for me.”

The prime minister, however, said yoga has been very useful for him. 

When asked if India could match up to the GDP growth achieved by its neighbor, Modi said, "If you see the details of the last 5-10 centuries, you will see that India and China have grown at similar paces. Their contributions to global GDP have risen in parallel, and fallen in parallel. Today's era once again belongs to Asia. India and China are both growing rapidly, together."

Modi rejects Al Qaeda chief Al Zawahiri's appeal to Muslims

Expressing his faith in India’s growth potential the PM said India does not need to become anything else. India must become only India. It was once called the ‘golden bird’ and it is time we rise again. But one answer with which the Prime Minister received maximum appreciation was when he rejected al Qaeda’s recent video appealing the Muslims in India to join it saying Indian Muslims will live and die for India and they will not dance to the tunes of terror outfits.

"My understanding is that they are doing injustice towards the Muslims of our country. If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional. Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India - they will not want anything bad for India," he told CNN.

How politicians and public reacted to Modi’s interview? Congress smells a rat Questioning the timing of Modi's statement, on Indian Muslims, ahead of his US visit the Congress wondered whether BJP and its other leaders adhere to it. It also sought to know whether his statement is a sincere voice coming from his heart.

"What the Prime Minister has said is welcome and there cannot be any objection to it. But did he take his colleagues Yogi Adityanath, Giriraj Singh and Amit Shah on board on the issue as they have often been heard saying something else. He has made this statement but let us see whether his party adheres to his statement," party spokesman Salman Khurshid told reporters.

Samajwadi Party takes a swipe at Modi's statement on Muslims

Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan took a swipe at PM over his statement praising Muslims, saying "while the Prime Minister acknowledged Muslims as patriots" he chose not to warn those "spewing venom" against the minority community.

Muslim bodies welcome PM’s statement

A body of Muslim intellectuals, on Sunday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement lauding the patriotism of Muslims in the country.

The Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) on Sunday passed a resolution stating that by acknowledging and accepting the positive contribution to the nation by this vital segment of the country's populace, the PM has tried to assuage the collective hurt undergone by the Muslim community recently because of some vitriolic utterances by some of his own party members.

And here's how the twitter verse reacted to Modi's interview:

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