Mahagathbandhan or grand alliance being formed by the Opposition was about dynasties and not development, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, in an exclusive interview with ANI, where he touched upon various issues and took several jibes on Opposition, ranging from Grand Alliances to Reservation.
"The Mahagathbandhan is for personal ambitions, not for people's aspirations. The Mahagathbandhan is purely about power politics, not about people's mandate. The Mahagathbandhan is about dynasties, not about development. The Mahagathbandhan is not about any union of minds or ideas, but about rank opportunism. The only question is whether they will break up before the election or after!" he added.
The Prime Minister said that his detractors had no faith in their ability to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) individually. He further said that despite winning the people's confidence, the Opposition disappointed the people's mandate.
"These parties had lots of time to prove their worth to the people. But they indulged in corruption, nepotism and mis-governance. Now they know that their electoral arithmetic based on caste, class, community and religion cannot withstand the chemistry of development," he said.
Modi added that "Today, those who resisted the Emergency are standing with those who imposed it. Those who went about trying to fight corruption are with the party that has institutionalized corruption at all levels. Parties with a visceral hatred towards the Left ideology and parties espousing Left ideology are sharing stage. Parties whose very existence depended on fighting each other are now friends."
Talking about the alliance with People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said that the coalition was formed to fulfill people's expectations.
He further said that the central government is working towards holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir across the regions of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir Valley.
Reiterating his party's "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance" stance, he said that people are choosing the BJP for the developmental work they are doing, owing to the people's unflinching trust in the party's politics of development and their validation of the work being done.
'Gabbar Singh Tax' analogy
Hitting back at the Congress for criticising the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by terming it pejoratively as the 'Gabbar Singh Tax', the Prime Minister said, "People who have seen only dacoits around them, will naturally think of dacoits only".
"Our GST model was acceptable to the states because we were sensitive. The Congress President (Rahul Gandhi) tried his best to provoke people against the GST during Gujarat legislative assembly election last year, why did the people reject him?
"They not only want to misguide but also indulge in opposing for the sake of opposing. Whether it is Yoga, Ayushman Bharat, SwachhBharat, NRC, surgical strikes, their conduct is for everyone to see," he added.
Mamata's 'civil war' jibe at NRC
Launching a scathing attack on Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee's 'civil war' jibe at NRC exercise, Prime Minister Modi said that only those who have lost faith in themselves, fear loss of popular support and lack faith in the country's institutions can use phrases like 'civil war', 'blood bath' and 'Desh Ke Tukde Tukde', as they are "disconnected from the pulse of the nation."
In his interview, Modi clarified that no Indian citizen will be made to leave the country over the NRC list, and those excluded will be given all possible opportunities to get their concerns addressed, as per the due process.
'Reservation is here to stay'
Modi also spoke of the reservation and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's dreams, stating, "The objectives of our Constitution and dreams of Dr Babasaheb are still incomplete. It is the responsibility of every one of us to fulfil his dream and reservations are an important tool to achieve this".
Making it clear, the Prime Minister said, "Reservation is here to stay. Let there be no doubts about this."
Mob lynching and politics
Modi said that "My party and I have spoken in clear words, on multiple occasions against such actions (lynching) and such a mindset. It is all on record. Even a single incident is one too many and deeply unfortunate. Everyone should rise above politics to ensure peace and unity in our society".
He termed the incidents of mob lynching as criminal and said that "it would be a great travesty to reduce these incidents to mere statistics and then indulge in politics over them. That shows a kind of perverse mindset that looks at violence and criminality as something to be milked, instead of unitedly opposing".
Modi in his interview said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi's wink at his colleague right after hugging him in the Parliament proved how childish his stunt was.
"It is for you to judge whether it was a childish act or not. And, if you are unable to decide that, watch the wink and you will get the answer," he told ANI.
Continuing with his jibe on Gandhi, Modi said: "I am a humble Kamdaar. I am nothing compared to the Naamdaars of this country. They decide whom to hate, when to hate, whom to love and how to make a show out of it. A kamdaar like me cannot have a say in it."
'Terror free Pakistan'
"I have always said that we wish to have good neighbourly relations. We have also taken various initiatives in this regard. I recently congratulated Imran Khan on his victory in the elections. We hope that Pakistan would work for a safe, secure, stable and prosperous region, free from terror and violence," the Prime Minister responded when asked if India is ready to hold talks with Pakistan.
Modi had called up Khan on July 30 and congratulated him on his electoral success.
Tough measures to ensure gender justice
The Prime Minister also spoke about the importance of women empowerment in the country and said, "No country can progress if its women are not equal partners in the development process. Going a step ahead of women development, we are working towards women-led development."
"'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao', was among the first programmes that this Government launched aimed at addressing the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio and educating the girl child. 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' has led to significant improvement in the Child Sex Ratio in various parts of India. It has taken the shape of a vibrant mass movement that is changing mindsets all over," Modi added, highlighting his government's vision on women empowerment.