BJP Never Promised Rs 15 Lakh in Every Bank Account: Rajnath Singh

“Never said that Rs 15 lakh will come (to accounts of people),” Rajnath Singh said in an interview to ANI.

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Amid the Opposition's criticism over the Bharatiya Janata Party's alleged promise of bringing Rs 15 lakh in every citizen's bank account, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in an interview to ANI, said the party "never" made such a promise in the run-up to the last general elections.

“Bilkul nahi kaha tha ki Rs 15 lakh aenge. Ye kabhi nahi kaha tha. (Never said that Rs 15 lakh will come [to accounts of people]. This was never said.) We had said that we will take action (karyawahi) against black money. Action is being taken against black money. It was our government which made SIT on the topic of black money.”
Rajnath Singh, as quoted by ANI

Notably, the ‘Rs 15 lakh’ reference comes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election speech in November 2013, which can be seen more as rhetoric and not a promise per se. Addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh, Modi had rhetorically asked the public:

“Should the black money come back? Should we take every rupee from the thieves and the robbers? The public has a right over this money or not? Shouldn’t this money be useful for the public? If we bring back the money of these thieves and robbers from foreign banks, then each and every poor of our country will get Rs 15-20 lakh for free. That’s how much money is there.”
Narendra Modi, in 2013

However, the Opposition has repeatedly questioned the PM about this Rs 15 lakh 'promise,' with the pitch expected to get even louder in the run-up to the 2019 elections.


On Raids on Opposition Leaders

In another segment of the interview to ANI, when asked about the raids conducted on Opposition leaders by enforcement agencies, the Home Minister said, "Blaming the government is wrong. It's been going on for years, not started today. Unjust to say (it is) being done on somebody's instructions."

He went on to add, "The EC asks for (security) forces, and we provide (them). Deployments are done on the orders of the EC, not the Centre."

On BJP's Manifesto

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's tweet criticising the BJP's manifesto released on Monday, Rajnath Singh was quoted as saying, "I don't think in India's political history, so many people were involved in the making of a manifesto (BJP's manifesto), so what he is saying is baseless. He keeps saying such things, don't take it seriously."

The Congress president, in a tweet, had said, "The BJP Manifesto was created in a closed room. The voice of an isolated man, it is short sighted and arrogant."

‘Strict Action Against Those Who Indulge in Violence, Irrespective of Religion’

The Home Minister assured during the course of the interview that "strict action will be taken against those who indulge in violence, irrespective of religion."

“I want to assure this as the Home Minister that nobody needs to feel unsafe in India... In fact, I had said yesterday in Jammu that safety of Kashmiris studying or living in any part of India is the responsibility of all citizens. Even an advisory was issued to all states regarding this.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as quoted by ANI

‘Action Against Pakistan Was Not Hot Pursuit’

The Union minister said India's surgical strikes were not in line with former Home Minister LK Advani's strategy of ‘hot pursuit’ against terrorists.

During the course of the interview, Singh said, “It is not about hot pursuit or cold pursuit. We only targeted the terror training camps while carrying out the strikes in Pakistan. We did not attack innocent civilians during the strikes. Besides, the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan were also preserved.”

Advani had pushed for a pro-active policy to eliminate terrorists and espoused them verbally, when he was the Home minister in the Vajpayee-led NDA government in 2001.

‘No Question of Separate PM, President for Kashmir’

Rajnath Singh asserted that Kashmir is and will be an integral part of India and that no external force can separate Kashmir from India.

“There cannot be two prime ministers in the country. It is absolutely clear in our manifesto that if we form the government, Article 370 and 35 A will be removed.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, as quoted by ANI

His comments come after Omar Abdullah, in a speech, pitched for the revival of the posts of a prime minister and a president for Jammu and Kashmir.

Further, Rajnath said that during his tenure, he tried continuously to hold dialogues with Kashmiri leaders, who showed no inclination for talks.

‘Politics Should Not Be Done on Caste or Religion’

Responding to BSP chief Mayawati’s appeal to the Muslim community to vote for the BSP-SP alliance, Singh said, “Politics should not be done on the basis of caste, creed or religion.”

“It is very unfortunate (what Mayawati said). Politics should not be done on the basis of Hindu-Muslim. Politics should not be done on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Our (BJP) politics is not on the basis of caste, creed or religion. It is on the basis of justice and humanity."

Addressing a public rally in Deoband, Mayawati had said, “The Congress does not want the alliance to win. I appeal to Muslims to vote for the alliance. Do not vote for the Congress.”

(With inputs from ANI.)

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