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PM Narendra Modi interview: “Opposition believes NDA government will return”

PM Narendra Modi

According to PM Narendra Modi, the opposition will undoubtedly lose the general elections.

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times’ sister journal Hindustan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a scathing jab at the Opposition, claiming that their leaders are not running for office in the Lok Sabha elections because they think the NDA government will win back control.

PM Modi said the Opposition is certain of its defeat in the general elections.

“It is not the election, but the Opposition camp that is dull because of their certain defeat. Even the Opposition believes that the NDA government will return to power, which is why even several opposition leaders are shying away from poll campaigns… Many people have started blaming EVMs (electronic voting machines) even before the polls have begun,” he said.

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Amid the Opposition’s accusation that the Centre has been misusing agencies to target political opponents, PM Modi vowed that action against those who steal people’s money will not end.

“Whatever be the level of corruption, it impacts the people of the country… action against such people, who steal the money meant for the welfare of the people of this country, will not end,” he said.

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PM Modi rejected the Opposition’s charge of misuse of agencies. He said out of all cases being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, only 3 percent were linked to those in politics.
PM Modi said those who benefit from corruption cry foul.

Just 3% of the corruption cases that the Enforcement Directorate is looking into involve political figures. Officials and criminals are connected to the remaining 97% of incidents. He remarked, “Those who are complaining and painting the false picture are the ones who find benefits in a corrupt system.
“The stories you’ve heard, according to which our target is solely political corruption, are being spread by individuals who work for investigative agencies,” he continued.

According to PM Modi, the Enforcement Directorate prosecuted dishonest officials and sequestered assets valued at thousands of crores.

“Before 2014, ED attached assets worth only ₹5,000 crores, whereas, in the last 10 years, that amount has increased to more than ₹1 lakh crore. Before 2014, ED had seized only ₹34 lakh in cash, while under our government it has seized more than ₹2,200 crore in cash. Imagine, if this money was invested in welfare schemes for the poor, how many people would have benefited, and how many opportunities could have been created for the youth? So many new infrastructure projects could have been launched,” he said.

PM Modi also attacked the Congress party, saying they strengthened “their family” when they had full majority governments at the Centre. He said the BJP government has been strengthening the country.

“People have got the opportunity to compare the BJP model and the Congress model for the first time. The Congress ruled the country with a full majority for 5-6 decades. In comparison, the BJP has served with absolute majority for only one decade. When they had full majority governments, all they did was strengthen their family. Today, when we have a majority government, our priority is to strengthen the country — villages, the poor, our farmers, and the middle-class society,” he said.

Voting for the seven-phased Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 19. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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