Attacks on Rajan are Unfair and Inappropriate: PM Modi Snubs Swamy
In an interview with Arnab Goswami, Modi supported Raghuram Rajan, appreciating his work for the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi disapproved of party MP Subramanian Swamy’s “inappropriate” attacks on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Calling Rajan “no less patriotic”, he virtually ticked off Swamy saying “if anybody considers himself above the system then it is wrong”.
Modi’s remarks were made to Times Now’s editor-in-chief, his first interview to an Indian news channel since assuming office as Prime Minister.
Here are some of the important excerpts:
Modi vs Raghuram Rajan’s Critics
The hullaballoo around RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan peaked when he refused to continue for a second term, making his decision clear in an official letter. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy took credit for Rajan’s exit.
Modi was questioned on the repeated vitriolic attacks on Rajan and his take on the same.
I believe Raghuram Rajan’s patriotism is no less than any of ours. It will be doing injustice to him if one says that he will serve the country only if he is at a particular post. As much as I know Raghuram Rajan, whatever post he holds, wherever he is, he is someone who will continue to serve the country.
Modi categorically critiqued attempts to tarnish Rajan’s reputation in clear statements, even pointing towards Swamy.
I think it’s unfair and inappropriate. Whether it is someone from my party or not, I believe that such things are inappropriate. The nation won’t benefit from such publicity stunts. One should be more responsible while conducting themselves. Anyone who believes he is bigger than the system is wrong.
On India’s Failed NSG Bid and Relations with China
“India has been making efforts towards NSG since the beginning, but it was our government that got India the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) membership,” Modi informed.
“The government is being criticized not for any mishandling of the NSG issue but because we were so successful over there (in USA). Things were hyped too much.”
On Parliamentary Logjams
Arnab Goswami moved onto to question Modi about parliamentary logjams and whether they affect his government from achieving the targets they set.
“I look at it slightly differently. I do believe that there have been too many issues in the Parliament. But it is upto people to decide whose fault it ultimately is. Discussion and debate in the Parliament is integral, and people running away from these debates is a problem. At least, let there be a discussion,” said Modi.
It’s the responsibility of each parliamentarian and citizen to value the spirit of democracy. As the government, we have endeavoured to raise each issue. We got 12 bills passed in the Rajya Sabha, and 10 in the Lok Sabha.
Clearly hinting at the Congress party, he says there is a problem there. “They have been in power for long enough to not behave the way that they are behaving,” he said.
On Talks with Pakistan
“The first thing is that with Pakistan, to whom do we talk to decide about the ‘Lakshman Rekha’. Will it be with the elected government or with other actors?India will have to be alert every moment, with respect to Pakistan,” PM Modi shared.
Be it my visit to Lahore, or my invitation to the Pakistani Prime Minister to come to India. I don’t have to explain the world about India’s position. The world is unanimously appreciating India’s position. And the world is realising that Pakistan is finding it difficult to respond.
‘My Country’s Soldiers Have Full Freedom to Answer Back’
“Today the world has to accept what India has been saying about terrorism. India’s dialogue on terrorism, the losses suffered by India, the losses suffered by humanity are being acknowledged by the world.”
Hinting at a divide between civil and military leadership in Pakistan, Modi said:
Look there are different types of forces operating in Pakistan. But the government only engages with a democratically elected system. Our effort for that engagement is continuing. But our supreme objective is peace. I would especially like to appeal to my country’s media that we should stop looking at everything in India from the prism of Pakistan.
Modi also made it clear that while a dialogue with Pakistan continues, it will not be at the cost of India’s interests.
“And that is why I have said that my country’s soldiers have full freedom to answer back in whatever manner they have to and they will keep doing that.”
The Contentious Issue of Black Money
Modi said that the issue of black money was repeatedly stalled in the Parliament. He argued that “even then the previous government stalled it for three years, from 2011-2014.”
It’s after this that political parties, the media and the common man started believing that there’s something wrong. Then the issue of Black Money became an agenda.
He said that the issue was taken seriously after the Modi government assumed office.
The first decision taken by our Cabinet was to form a Special Investigation Team to bring back Black Money which was pending despite Supreme Court’s 2011 order. This shows our sincerity. From then on, you can’t imagine how stringent the laws have been made to bring back Black Money and whoever comes in its fold will know how strict the law is. Thirdly, I attended the G20 Summit. And for the first time in the G20 Summit, one paragraph was on unaccounted money, on black money and 20 countries said that the world should cooperate.
Be it a dialogue with Switzerland (where most Indians believe all the ‘black money’ is stashed), or talks with Mauritius, Modi assured that the government “is working in a direction to make sure that Black Money isn’t generated in India and black Money doesn’t go out of India, you can see the results of all this.”
Will GST Bill Be Passed Next Session?
Modi appealed to political outfits to stop treating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill solely as an economic reform.
Not having GST straightaway means loss for the poor of Uttar Pradesh. Absence of GST straightaway means loss for the poor people of Bihar. Not passing the GST would mean loss for the poor people of poor states like Bengal, Orissa and Assam. People who sit in the Rajya Sabha must understand this.
Don’t Make Heroes Out of Hotheads, Says Modi
In a rather unambiguous attack on self-styled spokesmen within the BJP party, Modi said that these people should not be given any importance and that the media narrative around religion or politics should not include comments by them.
I would like to tell the media not to make heroes out of those people who make such comments. Why do you make them so big? I see such statements by people on TV, whose faces I haven’t even seen and they end up becoming spokesmen on TV.
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