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'Polls were postponed after Rajiv Gandhi's death': PM Modi's counter on 'no level-playing field' charges

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a mega interview with India TV, reaffirmed that he won the 2014 elections only because he had promised to take action against the corrupt and he would continue with that.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: May 24, 2024 9:17 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Image Source : INDIA TV Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an exclusive interview on SALAAM INDIA show with India TV's Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma on Thursday, targeted the Opposition leaders over their allegations that they were not provided a 'level-playing field' in the Lok Sabha elections, citing the cancellation of general elections post Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi's death in 1991.  

When Rajat Sharma asked a question about the Opposition's allegations that two chief ministers (former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal) and several other Opposition leaders were sent to jail ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the prime minister rejected the allegations citing an incident happened in 1991. 

Hitting out at the Congress and other opposition parties for complaining that they have not been given a level-playing field in the election, PM Modi reminded how the then Chief Election Commissioner (TN Seshan) postponed polling across the country in 1991 for 22 days after Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991, when only one round of polling was over. 

The elections were postponed till mid-June and voting finally took place on June 12 and 15.  

"Was that a level-playing field?", asked PM Modi, adding normally, when a candidate dies, election in his constituency is countermanded, but in 1991, election across the country was postponed and polling resumed only after the funeral of the departed leader was widely publicized. 

The same person (TN Seshan), after retirement, fought against our party president ( L K Advani) in Gandhinagar in 1999 on a Congress ticket, the PM recalled.

On the question - Why two serving CMs were jailed when the election process was on, PM Modi said, his government did not send them to jail.

"We did not send them to jail. The courts sent the two chief ministers to jail. We do not have the power to send somebody to jail or keep anybody in jail. Courts have the powers. Look at what the Supreme Court said in the ex-Jharkhand CM (Hemant Soren)'s case. Look at what Delhi High Court said about ex-minister (Manish Sisodia) in money laundering case," he added.

People have seen piles of cash of cash in crores seized by the Enforcement Directorate, said PM Modi referring to recent recoveries from Jharkhand.

All of us should honour ED for seizing Rs 2200 crores in cash, which can be filled up in at least 70 tempos, while during 10-years of UPA rule, ED had seized only Rs 34 lakh cash which can be stuffed in a school bag, he asserted. 

Aslaming the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government over the Delhi liquor case, he said, they (AAP leaders) wanted to spoil the lives of children by opening liquor outlets near schools, offered one liquor bottle free for every bottle sold, because they were getting commission on the number of bottles sold.

"Let me make this very clear. I won the 2014 elections only because I had promised to take action against the corrupt. I was elected only because of that. Big leaders used to get away scot-free. I do not run this government for getting nice editorials or good TV headlines. My government works to stamp," said the PM.

What is the matter all about?

Also read: 'Pakistan ki taakat ko mai khud check karke aaya hu': PM Modi tells Rajat Sharma in season's biggest interview


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