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'Bharat Ki Baat': 'Informed Pak about surgical strikes before making it public', says PM

By Deepika
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in a town hall event 'Bharat ki baat, sab ke sath' at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London.

    PM Modi

    Here are the highlights of PM Modi's interaction

    PM Modi has started speaking with host Prasoon Joshi at 'Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath', a diaspora event in London.

    People can make a tea-seller shake hands at the royal palace

    PM Modi takes a question on his life journey from a railway station to becoming the prime minister of a country, "My life at the railway station taught me so much. It was about my personal struggles. When you said royal palace, it is not about me but about the 125 crore people of India. People are equivalent to Gods in a democracy and if they wish even a tea-seller can become their representative and shake hands at the royal palace."

    'India is getting increasingly aspirational'

    Modi said "Impatience is not a bad thing. If a person has a cycle, a person aspires a scooter. If a person has a scooter, a person aspires a car. It is natural to aspire. India is getting increasingly aspirational."

    "Impatience gives me energy. If you work with the motive of welfare for everyone, you can never be disappointed," he further said.

    'More expectation from us', says Modi

    "People have more expectations from us because they know that we can deliver. People know that when they say something, the government will listen and do it. Days of incremental change are over," he said.

    On development issues in India

    On development issues in India, Modi said that "During the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi did something very different. He turned the freedom struggle into a mass movement. He told every person that whatever you are doing will contribute to India's freedom. Today the need of the hour is to make development a mass movement. Participative democracy makes good governance possible."

    "Today the need of the hour is to make development a mass movement. Participative democracy makes good governance possible," he said.

    Won't tolerate terrorism, I know how to give back

    "In our entire history, we have never tried to grab land from anyone else. We must remain vigilant, we must remain victorious at all times. But if someone's made a business out of terrorism, then I know how to hit back," PM on surgical strikes.

    "Those who like exporting terror, I want to tell them that India has changed and their antics will not be tolerated," he stressed.

    We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give back strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted. We spoke to Pakistan to tell them that we did surgical strikes before disclosing the news to media.

    "I know what it is to be poor": Modi

    "I do not need to read books to understand poverty. I have lived in poverty, I know what it is to be poor and belong to the backward sections of society. I want to work for the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden."

    "As many as 18,000 villages did not have electricity. So many women do not have access to toilets. These realities of our nation did not let me sleep. I was determined to bring about a positive change in the lives of India's poor, said PM.

    PM Modi speaks on Kathua-Unnao rape incidents

    "When a child is raped, what could be worse? Is that the time to compare metrics versus the earlier governments? When a girl comes home late, all parents are worried. When a boy goes out and comes home late, why don't we ask him where he was? Look, I have lived the life of a poor man, I don't need to learn about it from a book. Nothing is more important to me than to make our country safer, cleaner...."

    Can modi change India?

    To a question on whetherhe Modi change the country alone, the prime minister said " I'm an ordinary citizen just like you. Don't think of me any differently than you. We have a million problems but we have a billion people who can solve them.I assure the citizens that I can make mistakes but I will not work with wrong intentions."

    PM Modi on health care

    We paid special attention to three things -- children's education, employment for young people and medicines for the elderly. Be it a wellness center or preventive health care, we are working for the health of every Indian in the country.

    On critics

    "I am happy to be critisised alone. Attack me but not my people. My concept is Team India. If India has a million problems, it has a billion solutions too. I have full faith in the people of my country. Vikas is a Jan Andolan," said PM.

    "It makes democracy strong, I want government to be criticised," he says.

    "My problem is not against criticism. To criticise, one has to research and find proper facts. Sadly, it does not happen now. What happens instead is allegations," he adds.

    PM Modi on how Basaveshwara influenced him

    "It is an unfortunate thing that after independence, there has been an effort to put an end to our culture and tradition. We do not know about our greatness. We talk about democratic values to people. Basaveshwara had called for this place where everyone used to come to discuss issues and come up with solutions. There was no question of caste or gender. Everyone was equal. He taught us what democracy is or what equality is. He had also said where there is stagnancy, there is an end. Where there is speed, there is growth," said PM Modi.

    "One of the things I wanted to do in London was to pay homage to Bhagwan Basaveshwara," he said.

    PM Modi on notes ban

    "I had met the PM of Argentina who told me that when note bandi happened, me and my wife thought you were gone. The government was attacked on TV channels everywhere but I had faith in the people. I believed that they were ready to make a small sacrifice for honesty, transparency," said PM Modi.

    On governance

    "If you will see where we stand in comparison to previous government, I can affirm that we left no stone unturned in doing good for the country on any parameter. Before 2014, newspapers used to have headlines 'aaj itna gaya', today's news is 'Modi Ji kitna aaya'?": PM

    PM on digital India

    PM Modi said, "The world is driven by technology. We are entering the age of artificial intelligence. There is scope for transparency and efficiency. The benefits must reach the common man and that is what we are working towards."

    Modi on his fitness mantra

    "Responding to an audience question on how he stays fit, Modi replies: "For the last 20 years, I've been on a special diet. I take 20 kg or 30 kg of criticism daily. That's the secret of my fitness," Modi said sparking many rounds of laughter.

    On farmers issues

    Be it, doubling farmers' income by the year 2022, or easy accessibility of urea, the government is working on a dedicated plan.

    India's role in the new world order

    The power of Indian passport has changed. "People look with respect when they know you are India as per your passport. India today has been able to carve a place for itself," says PM Modi.

    It took 70 years for the first Indian Prime minister to visit Israel. "What prevented Indian Prime Ministers from going to Israel. Yes, I will go to Israel and I will even go to Palestine," says PM Modi.

    I will go to Saudi Arabia and strengthen cooperation with them, and also engage with Iran for Indias's energy needs, he adds.

    At the end of the live telecast, he will join Heads of Government from 52 other Commonwealth countries at a dinner hosted by the British prime minister as a formal welcome to Commonwealth Summit.

    This will be followed by the executive session of the Commonwealth heads of states in London tomorrow before they head to Windsor for the Commonwealth retreat, where the world leaders will interact on an informal basis.

    On the last day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet PM Modi will attend a retreat at Windsor Castle, the residence of the royal family in the county of Berkshire, hosted by Queen Elizabeth and concludes his UK visit after which he will leave for India.

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