New Delhi, June 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lashed out at elements inciting communal hatred, saying his government will not tolerate violence against any community. [What PM Modi told in interview to PTI]
Speaking to news agency UNI in an exclusive interview, Modi said such comments were unfortunate and that they were "totally uncalled for".
''I have said this before and I say it again: any discrimination or violence against any community will not be tolerated,'' the prime minister said in the interview held on the occasion of his government's one year in office.
Asked on how he would rein in the elements who are spreading hatred on communal lines, Modi said the constitution guaranteed religious freedom to every citizen and such communal hatred is not negotiable.
On Land Acquisition Bill
On the question of the new Land Acquisition Bill, PM Modi said all criticism of the Bill is "politically motivated" but added that he is open to suggestions from all political parties.
He took a dig at the previous UPA government, saying the legislation made during its time was neither in favour of the farmers nor the country's development.
He said the current bill as a matter of national importance and sought co-operation of the Opposition to get it passed in the the parliament. The Bill has been referred to a joint committee of the parliament.
''We are open to a discussion with all political parties and consider their suggestions so long as the core objectives are met. I hope that we will get the support of all political parties on this matter of national importance," he said.
Modi said he had got representations from various states, NGOs and public representatives against various provisions of the Bill and his government tried to correct the anomalies pointed out by the states.
On finance, banks, Jan Dhan Yojana
PM Modi said his government is focussing on non-performing assets and is implementing a massive financial inclusion programme through 14 crore accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
The prime minister said in the interview that his government is also looking to increase employment opportunities for the youth through various initiatives like skill development and Make in India to push the manufacturing sector.
Modi said tackling the non-performing assets (NPAs) has been his government's priority. He said: ''The problem of NPAs in banks is not new. It is definitely not due to the Jan Dhan accounts... In fact, my experience is that a poor person seldom defaults a bank loan. This is a question of management efficiency of the banks. I have focussed on that.''
Modi also said he has personally spoken to bankers and assured them of full functional autonomy.
The prime minister disagreed that the Jan Dhan scheme is a 'high volume, low value' proposition as more than Rs 15,000 crore has been mobilised as deposits in these accounts.
On India-China relations
PM Modi told UNI that India and China are committed to resolving the long-pending boundary problem through co-operative and peaceful means.
He said the effort to take the peace process forward was articulated at the highest level of the two governments during his visit to Beijing last month.
''I made India's point of view very clear,'' he said, adding that, ''I and President Xi Jinping are committed at personal level to take the cooperative and peaceful process forward.''
On India-Pakistan relations
On New Delhi's relation with Islamabad, Modi said he strongly wants to break ice with the neighbouring country but at the same time also asked it to give up violence.
When asked the reason for not visiting Pakistan so far despite his wish to reach out to the neighbour, PM Modi told UNI that there is no hindrance in normalising relations provided Pakistan created an atmosphere of peace.
"I expect just one thing from Pakistan. It should take to the path of peace and non-violence. The path of violence will do neither any good to them
nor to us," he said.
Modi's remarks came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said there is no engagement with Pakistan at present and made it clear that no talks will be held with Islamabad unless the country took action against terror and stopped involving third parties in bilateral issues.