Simultaneous Polls Will Help Save Resources: PM Modi on Zee News

In his first interview of 2018, PM Modi talked about relations with Pakistan & China, Rohingya Muslims, GST & more.

PM Modi in an interview with Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary
PM Modi in an interview with Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first interview of 2018, following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections, was telecast on Zee News on Friday, 19 January.

In his one on one with Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary, PM Modi talked about India’s growing influence in the world, relation with China and Pakistan, and the government’s policy on Rohingya Muslims.

The prime minister’s upcoming visit to Davos on 23 January for the World Economic Forum (WEF) was also a highlight of the interview.

Davos an Opportunity to Connect World with India Directly: PM

On the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on 23 January, PM Modi said his visit is aimed at further improving India’s economic growth.

“India is a big market and also has a big demographic strength so it is obvious that the world wants to connect with India directly. And Davos provides the opportunity for that,” Modi said in the interview.

On Why FDI Norms Were Relaxed

Modi claimed that his government’s move to relax Foreign Direct Investment norms was implemented at the right time as "India is doing well at home in economic, social and good governance and transparency. That is why the world is taking interest in us."

The prime minister also quoted the Ease of Doing Business report in which India jumped up 30 notches into the top 100 in the rankings.

‘World Leaders Find it Easy to Befriend Me’

(Photo: AP)
US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi hug during a public address in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

When asked how he finds it easy “to gel with world leaders so easily”, PM Modi said that the fact that he is an ordinary person helps the other leaders befriend him.

Everytime I stand beside world leaders like Putin or Trump, all I remember is that I am the representative of 125 million Indians. They have given me the mandate to be there.
PM Narendra Modi

‘How do You See India in The World Sphere?’

It was a bipolar world earlier. Now it is multipolar/interconnected. In this condition, you have to be proactive and tell the world about yourself. I brought up demonetisation at G20, and soon it was discussed that financial transparency in the world should be led by us.

On GST and Demonetisation

Don’t evaluate me on demonetisation and GST only. We brought economic reforms, built toilets, brought electricity to 18,000 villages. The success of GST lies in the power of the federal structure. It takes time to adjust to change, but the outcome will be good.

To a question on job creation, he said just in the formal economy, 70 lakh people have enrolled in the provident fund scheme and 10 crore people have taken loans under the collateral-free Mudra Yojana, while a large number of jobs are also being created elsewhere.

On 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

When asked about what his expectations are from the 2019 elections, Modi said, it was the misfortune of India that governments have worked only for winning elections. He added that he will prefer to focus on his work rather than wasting time over calculations for 2019 general elections.

India elects us to make reforms, not to win elections. If our reforms are for the benefit of the citizens, then the elections will reflect that, like we have seen in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat.
PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi said that he does not waste his time on calculating numbers for upcoming elections and his daily schedule is very busy to wonder about seats and polls.

On Why Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha Polls Should be Held Together

In his interview, PM Modi said he believes that Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections should be held together and that he has discussed this idea with various policy makers.

One election after another, the focus of the politicians gets divided. So let’s just do it one particular time. State’s 80 to 100 top officers are acting as elections observers. How will the state function? Elections absorb massive manpower. Soldiers are on election-duty for 100-200 days in a year.

He further added that continuous elections also lead to excess expenditure by political parties.

If the elections are held together the country is saved from a burden and crores of funds are saved. The voters will also find it convenient to come out and vote at once. Our idea is to create a planned election system. The polling could be held in a certain week across the country at one time.

On Casteism and Politics

Modi also spoke about the dangers of caste politics, saying it has been India's misfortune to be afflicted with this phenomenon.

It is our country’s misfortune. I think politics should be done on development, integrity, performance and the future of the country.

On Budget 2018

Whether there is budget or not, election or not, first budget or last budget, Modi has one mantra, BJP has one matra ‘vikas, vikas, vikas: sabka saath sabka vikas.’” “Whatever is needed for that we have been doing and we will continue to do it
PM Narendra Modi

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