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WATCH LIVE: PM Narendra Modi Sets the Agenda for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections in His Biggest Interview to News18

In an exclusive interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, PM Modi set the agenda for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, discussing a host of issues from J&K to the Opposition.


Updated:April 9, 2019, 7:29 PM IST
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New Delhi: In an exclusive interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, PM Modi set the agenda for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, discussing a host of issues from Jammu and Kashmir to the Opposition.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati a “sinking ship” and slammed her recent outreach to Muslim voters as a “desperate attempt to save that ship”.


Speaking about the BSP chief, the Prime Minister said while her “desperation” was “understandable”, he could not understand “selective outrage” of “secular forces”.

“Mujhe chinta Mayawati ki kam hai. Kyunki wo duubti hui nayya hai. Mussalmano ka sahara dhuundti hai. Main unki museebat samajh sakta hun. Meri chinta desh mein secularism ka jhanda leke ghuumne waalon ki hai...24 ghante se unke muh par taala kyun laga hua hai? (I am not worried about Mayawati. Her ship is sinking. She is looking for support from Muslims to stay afloat. I can understand her plight. I worry for the flag bearers of secularism. Why have they been silent for the last 24 hours?)” PM Modi said.

Article 370

On the BJP’s promise to abrogate Article 370 and 35A that entitle that bestow special rights on the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the PM said: “The problem in Kashmir is largely due to the 50-odd political families there. They have been milking the issue. They don't want any benefit to be given to the common Kashmiri people. They are using public sentiment for political gains. The income tax department has cracked down on such elements. “

While elaborating on his statement, he said, “While stone-throwers are funded by Pakistan to protect militants, when there is crackdown by the NIA on terror operators, people stand outside their homes and clap. People of Kashmir want freedom from such political families who have been preying on their emotions for 50 years. The situation in Kashmir is such that people want change, whether it is about Article 35A or 370.”


Regarding the Congress’ proposal to “review” AFSPA if it comes to power, PM Modi said, “The government must have the power to protect its armed forces. Only then will they have the morale to fight. Revoking AFSPA would be like sending our soldiers to the gallows. I won’t let this happen.”

He also emphasised on the need for the Act in a disturbed area such as Jammu and Kashmir till the government creates an environment where AFSPA is not required anymore. He also gave the example of Arunachal Pradesh, where the government partially revoked the Act earlier this month.

Kamal Nath and I-T Raids

Taking a swipe at the Congress for corruption, Modi said cases like National Herald and fodder scam happened during the Congress rule. The PM added that the BJP government has cracked the whip on such scams, referring to recent Income Tax raids on the aides of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.

“Bhrasht Nath could say anything, but it doesn’t matter. Action needs to be taken on scams and corruption,” the PM said. “Scams were put in cold storage and we thought they should be probed. If the scams are surfacing, the people behind them should also come forward,” he added.

Congress' NYAY

The Congress promising Nyay (justice) this election is an admission of the injustices it committed for 60 years in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

“Their main slogan for this election is ‘Ab Nyay Hoga’. So knowingly or unknowingly, they have admitted that they did injustice for 60 years in power,” Modi said, adding several sections of the Indian society are awaiting justice after being “wronged” by the Congress.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the eradication of poverty and providing basic facilities to every citizen is true nationalism.

“If I am saying 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' but my motherland is pained, how is my nationalism justified? The slogan belongs to 1.3 billion people of India,” PM Modi said.

“If I try to deliver clean India, isn’t that nationalism? If I try to provide shelter to the poor, isn’t that nationalism?” he said.

(The full interview will be aired today at 7pm and 10pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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