Key quotes from PM Modi’s interview to PTI

Bhubaneswar, May 20 (PTI) From minorities to his assessment of the BJP’s chances in the ongoing elections and from Kashmir to unemployment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to PTI on a wide range of subjects. Here are some key quotes from the interview:

–MINORITIES:

BJP has never been against minorities. Not just today but never.

We want to take everyone along with us. We are not ready to accept anyone as special citizens but consider everyone equal.

–ASSESSMENT OF BJP’S CHANCES:

All assessments of the past phases of the election show that the NDA is in pole position and the Congress, along with its INDI alliance, is struggling to even open its account in some states.

The blessings of the people will take us to a record-breaking mandate. We will see more seats from all parts of the country, particularly from the south and the east. NDA is on course to achieve the 400 seats.

–BJP’S SOUTHERN PUSH AND EXPANSION OF EASTERN FOOTPRINT:

In 2019, BJP was the single largest party in the South. And this time too, we will be the single largest party in Southern India and by an even bigger margin than the last time. We have seen a jump in mind-share already. We will see a big jump in seat share and vote share for us across the region.

I have always said Eastern India has great potential to be the biggest growth engine but has been most neglected by Congress-led governments of the Centre as well as the parties that have been governing the states of the region…

The so-called ‘red corridor’ will become a ‘saffron corridor’ in these elections.

–CONSTITUTION:

Modi has been made by Babasaheb’s Constitution and derives power from it. Without the Constitution, a person of my socio-economic background could have never made it this far. So, even if you assume I act out of self interest, my own welfare lies in the welfare of the Constitution.

–RESERVATIONS:

It is laughable and absurd to claim that we would do anything about the SC, ST and OBC reservations.

–JAMMU AND KASHMIR

What the elections in Jammu and Kashmir have done in 2024 is to put a seal of explicit democratic approval as well – the final seal in the trinity of according approval to our historic decision.

We want to create a Jammu and Kashmir where violence is history, prosperity is destiny. This is our long term strategy for Kashmir.

The restoration of statehood is a solemn promise we have made and we stand by it. We are working very hard to create the right conditions so that it can be done expeditiously.

–NAMING AMBANI, ADANI IN SPEECH

My point was instantly validated by none other than the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury admitted that if Adani-Ambani sent tempo-loads of money, he would not speak against them.

In my tenure, assets worth Rs 1 lakh crore have been attached. The battle against corruption is a serious one. We must allow our agencies to do their work without interference.

–PAKISTAN BECOMING PART OF CAMPAIGN NARRATIVE

Politicians from Pakistan are entering the electoral discourse of India by endorsing the Congress party’s Shahzada. Perhaps the Congress party thinks orchestrating such endorsements will serve it well. That is how disconnected they are from ground realities.

–BJD AND NAVEEN PATNAIK

It is our commitment that the next CM of Odisha from BJP will be a son of the soil. The people of Odisha deserve a better alternative after having given more than two decades to the BJD.

–BRAND MODI

Brand Modi works because there is no conscious effort in building this brand.

–100-DAY AGENDA

If you had observed me and my working style, you would have known that this is not the first time that I have entered the election fray with the vision for the first 100 days of the new government… And now, I have added 25 more days in this plan, where I would take the suggestions of India’s Yuva Shakti.

Regarding One Nation, One Election or Uniform Civil Code, these are part of our manifestos and one thing you would appreciate and that is we fulfil our manifesto promises.

–UNEMPLOYMENT

Our track record in creating more and more opportunities for our youth as compared to previous governments has been the best. This is because we worked with a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to bring the best opportunities that the world has to offer at India’s doorstep.

–CHABAHAR PORT DEAL

It is our endeavour to provide connectivity especially to those countries which are landlocked. I have always found deep interest among the leaders of the Central Asian countries to use this port for getting access to sea and connect to India.

India will work for ensuring that our efforts promote regional connectivity, trade and commerce, including to and from the landlocked Afghanistan and the Central Asia region.

–WHAT KEEPS HIM GOING

I think it is the blessings of the people that keep me going…

Being among people who are God personified, is nothing less than a divine experience for me and that is why I feel this inexplicable energy from within that pushes me to work even harder.

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