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  5. I consciously avoided choosing œpopulist course: PM Modi

I consciously avoided choosing œpopulist course: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he has consciously avoided choosing a “populist course” and had instead opted for a “more difficult path” of correcting the defective government machinery.  Looking back at

PTI PTI Updated on: May 29, 2015 14:17 IST

Q. No.11: What growth figure are you targeting this financial year?

Ans: The experience of the last year and the enthusiasm and encouragement of 1.25 billion Indians give me the confidence that all economic indicators will exceed the targets. I do not want to undermine the potential and the efforts by giving any figure which may turn out to be too low.
Q. No.12: On Land Acquisition Bill, opposition is saying you want to benefit the corporates. You have been denying this and saying that the legislation is for the benefit of the poor farmers and villagers. Still the opposition is unrelenting. Do you think the resistance by opposition is justified?  

Ans: I don't want to get into political mudslinging.  However I do want to ask whether those who allotted coal mines and forest land, rich with mineral resources, to their favourite corporates have the moral right to question this government which is working ceaselessly for the welfare of all sections of society. I am astonished that even after running a government for 60 years, the ones asking these questions have such poor knowledge of administration and governance. The whole country knows that the subject of Land is not with the Central Government and the Centre does not require lands. All rights relating to land are with the states. The 120 year old land acquisition act was amended by the previous government without even 120 minutes of discussion in Parliament. Thinking the bill was good for farmers, we also supported it at that time. Later many complaints came from the states. We cannot disrespect the wishes of states. One should not be so arrogant as to avoid correcting mistakes, so we brought the bill to rectify the errors, that too in response to the demand of the states. Anyone who looks at our proposed amendments without politically-tinted glasses will give us full marks.

Q. No.13: Since there is a deadlock on the Land Bill, what is the way out? Are you ready to accommodate the views of the opposition on the Land Bill? Which are the possible aspects in which the government can agree to opposition views? 

Ans: Gaon, Garib, Kisan: if the suggestions are favourable to these downtrodden groups and are in the interests of the nation, we will accept those suggestions.  

Q. No.14: During this year, your government as well as Sangh Parivar have been repeatedly targeted whenever any person from minority community or minority institutions have been attacked. Even you personally have been targeted. What do you have to say on this?

Ans: Any criminal act against any individual or institution in the country is to be condemned. The attackers must be strongly punished as per law. I have said this before and I say it again: any discrimination or violence against any community will not be tolerated. My position on this is very clear: Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas. We stand for every one of the 1.25 billion Indians regardless or caste or creed and we will work for the progress of every one of them.

Q. No.15: You have travelled to a number of countries over the last one year. Opposition has attacked you, saying that you hardly stay in the country. What is your response to this criticism?

Ans: We live in an inter-dependent world. An isolated India is not in our interest. 17 years without a visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal was not a good situation. Just because we are a large country, we cannot be arrogant and think that we can ignore others. We live in a different era.  Terrorism is global and can come from even remote countries.  International summits and organisations like WTO take decisions which will bind us and if we are not present in such summits, we may be hurt by the decisions taken. In a democracy, everyone has the right to criticise the Government.  Normally, the opposition gets more media space and even the people find it interesting to listen to voices against the government of the day. Ever since I took office, my friends in the opposition have been levelling baseless allegations about my foreign trips. Had these trips been a failure or had we made any mistakes, then they would have based their comments on specific issues. In the absence of any specific issue, they are only discussing the number of days and the number of countries. Look at the maturity of the people: all recent surveys show that the highest approval rating is for our foreign policy. When opponents keep harping on one point, it is a sure sign of success!

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