There is no reason for mistrust in the recent agricultural reforms: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | December 18, 2020 | 14:10 IST
India's agriculture, India's farmer, cannot live in backwardness anymore: PM Modi
Political parties should stop misguiding farmers: PM Modi
I assure every farmer of the country that MSP will continue just as before: PM Modi
Not a single mandi has been closed after the new agricultural laws: PM Modi

Namaskar,

My greetings to the hardworking peasant brothers and sisters of Madhya Pradesh! Farmer friends from different corners of Madhya Pradesh have gathered here for this special function. So many farmers have come from Raisen. Thousands of farmer brothers and sisters are connected digitally with us. I welcome you all. In the past, the farmers of MP have suffered losses due to hailstones and natural calamities. Sixteen hundred crore rupees are being transferred to the bank accounts of 35 lakh such farmers of Madhya Pradesh during this function. There is no middleman and no commission. There is no cut. Money is being deposited directly into the bank accounts of farmers. It has been made possible because of technology. The modern system that India has created in the last 5-6 years is also being discussed all over the world today and the young talent of our country has contributed immensely in it.

Friends,

Farmer credit cards have also been given to many farmers today in this programme. Earlier, the Farmer Credit Card was not available to everybody. Our government has made changes in the rules in order to ensure a Farmer Credit Card for every farmer. Now, the farmers are getting easy capital for works related to farming. It has also relieved them of the compulsion to borrow money from others on higher interest.

Friends,

During this programme today, several cold storage infrastructure and other facilities have been either inaugurated or foundation stone has been laid. This is a fact that no matter how much effort farmers put in, if there is no proper storage facility for fruits, vegetables and foodgrains, it leads to heavy losses. And it is not only the farmers who suffer this loss; the entire India bears this loss. According to an estimate, about one lakh crore worth of fruits, vegetables and food grains get damaged every year. Earlier, there was so much indifference regarding this. Now our priority is to set up new storage centres, a massive network of cold storage and create related infrastructure. I will urge the corporate world to come forward to contribute in developing modern storage facilities, cold storage and setting up new food processing ventures. It is not appropriate to assign everything to farmers. Maybe your earnings will be slightly lower, but it will benefit the farmers, the poor and the villages of the country.

Friends,

India’s agriculture and farmers can’t live in the state of backwardness anymore. The modern facilities, which are available to farmers of the developed countries, should also be available to Indian farmers. There can’t be any further delay. Time can’t wait for us. In a rapidly changing global scenario, we can’t accept this situation in India that the farmer becomes helpless due to lack of facilities and modern methods. It is already too late. We are compelled to do things which should have been done 25-30 years ago. In the last six years, our government has taken several important steps keeping in mind each and every requirement of the farmers. As part of this, all those demands of the farmers were fulfilled on which only discussions were going on for years. The new laws that have been made for the farmers are in the news for some time now. These agricultural reforms have not come about overnight. Every government of this country has held wide-ranging discussions with the state governments in the last 20-22 years. Almost every organization has debated on these laws.

Farmers of the country, farmers' organizations, agricultural experts, agricultural economists, agricultural scientists, progressive farmers of our country have also been continuously demanding reforms in the agriculture sector. In fact, the farmers of the country should demand answers from those who used to mention these reforms in their manifestos, advocate about these reforms and would make tall promises to seek votes of farmers, but they never implemented those promises made in their manifestos. They kept on ignore these demands, because farmers were not their priority. As a result, the farmers of the country kept waiting. The agricultural reforms that have taken place now are not different from what was there earlier in the manifestos of all the political parties of the country, their earlier statements, and letters of those gentlemen who were in charge of the agriculture department. Whatever promises they talked about have found mention in these agricultural reforms. I think they are not pained as much by the reforms in agricultural laws. The pain is in the fact that they could not do what they promised and how and why Modi has done it. Why should Modi get credit for it? I request all the political parties with folded hands to take its entire credit. I credit all your earlier manifestos. I don’t want any credit. I only want the ease of living and prosperity of farmers, and modernized farming. Please, don’t misguide and confuse the farmers.

Friends,

It has been more than six-seven months since these laws have been enacted. But, now all of a sudden, political games are being played by spreading and weaving a web of confusion and lies. Attacks are being mounted from the shoulders of the farmers. You must have seen, the government is repeatedly asking in meetings and publicly and our agriculture minister is also giving TV interviews and I am myself saying. Share with us the problems you have with which clauses of the laws. Tell us your problems. These political parties have no firm answers and this is the truth of these political parties.

Friends,

Those whose political ground has been swept away are basically trying to reclaim their political ground by instilling fear among farmers regarding their loss of land. It is very necessary for the country to remember what these people, who are now running this movement in the name of farmers, did when they got the opportunity to run the country or become part of the government. Today, I want to expose these people in front of our countrymen and my farmer brothers and sisters.

Friends,

How cruel these people are who are shedding crocodile tears over farmers’ welfare? The Swaminathan Committee report is the biggest proof. When the Swaminathan Committee report was submitted, these people sat over its recommendations for eight years. Farmers used to protest and demonstrate, but they were least bothered. These people put a lid on the report to ensure that their governments did not have to spend much on farmers. The interest of the farmers does not matter to them. They have misused the farmers from time to time to further their political interests, whereas our government is sensitive and dedicated to farmers considers farmers as ‘Annadata’. We dug out the Swaminathan Committee report from the maze of files and implemented its recommendations. We gave MSP which is 1.5 times the cost to farmers.

Friends,

A very big example of fraud against farmers in our country is the loan waiver by the Congress governments. A promise of loan waiver was made when elections were to take place in Madhya Pradesh two years ago. It was promised to waive off all the loans of the farmers within 10 days of the government formation. How many farmers’ debts have been waived off, what excuses were mentioned after the formation of the government. The farmers of Madhya Pradesh know much better than me. Lakhs of farmers in Rajasthan are still waiting for the loan waiver. It surprises me when I see the people who have committed such a big fraud on farmers talking about their welfare. Can politics hit so bottom? How can anyone be deceitful to such an extent? And that too in the name of gullible farmers! How much more will these people deceive the farmers?

Friends,

They talk about loan waiver ahead of every election. And how much is the loan waiver? Are all farmers covered under it? Have they ever thought about a small farmer who has not even seen the bank or who has not taken any loan? And experiences tell us that they never live up to the loan waiver announced by them. The money that they talk about for farmers never reaches them. The farmer always believed that his entire debt would be waived off this time. And what he used to get in return? Notices from banks and arrest warrants! And who used to pocket the maximum benefit of this loan waiver? The people who were close to them and their relatives! If my friends in the media dig deep into it, they will get to know everything in the reports of 8-10 years ago. This has been their character.

Those who flaunt the farmers’ politics never agitated and demonstrated for it. Their political interests were served after debt of some big farmers was waived once in 10 years. Then, who bats for the poor farmer? The country is aware and watching those who do vote-bank politics. The country is also watching purity in our intentions like the waters of the Ganges and Mother Narmada. They talk about spending 50,000 crore rupees on a loan waiver scheme once in 10 years. The farmers will get about 75,000 crore rupees every year under the PM-Kisan Samman Scheme launched by our government. That is about 7.5 lakh crore rupees in 10 years. Direct transfer to the bank accounts of the farmers and no leakage, no commission to anybody! There is not an iota of cut culture.

Friends,

Now I will remind the farmers of the country on urea. Just think about what used to be the situation of urea 7-8 years ago. Is it not true that the farmers had to stand late night in queues for urea? The news of lathi-charge on farmers waiting for urea was very common. There was rampant black-marketing of urea. Was it not true? The farmers’ crops used to suffer in the absence of fertilizer, but they were least bothered. Was it not atrocities on the farmers? I am surprised to see these people, who created these circumstances, are doing politics over farming.

Friends,

Was there no solution to the crisis of urea earlier? Had they been conscious about the farmers’ problems, there would not be shortage of urea. What did we do that the entire problem got resolved? Today, there is no news of shortage of urea and the farmers don’t get thrashed for urea. We have worked diligently to alleviate the sufferings of the farmers. We stopped black-marketing, took strong steps and reined in corruption. We ensured urea reaches the fields of farmers. During these people’s rule, the benefit of subsidy, which was meant for farmers, was enjoyed by others. We put a stop to corruption. We ensured 100 per cent neem coating of urea. We are reopening the fertilizer factories that are lying shut down due to obsolete technology. In the next few years, modern fertilizer plants will start functioning at Gorakhpur in UP, Barauni in Bihar, Sindri in Jharkhand, Talcher in Odisha and Ramagundam in Telangana. About 50,000-60,000 crore rupees are being spent on this only. These modern fertilizer plants will generate new employment opportunities and will help India become self-reliant in the production of urea. It will also reduce import of urea worth several thousands crore rupees.

Friends,

Nobody had stopped them from restarting these fertilizer plants. Nobody had refused them to introduce new technology. But it was not the intentions, there was no policy, there was no loyalty towards the farmers. They have only been making false promises and ruling the country.

Friends,

Had the previous governments been concerned, about 100 big irrigation projects would not have been struck for decades. The work on construction of dams went on for 25 years. If the dam was constructed, then there was no provision for canals. If canals were made, no attempt was made to connect the canals. Both time and money was wasted. Now our government is spending thousands of crores of rupees to complete these irrigation projects in mission mode so that our desire to ensure water to the fields of every farmer is fulfilled.

Friends,

The government has made concerted efforts to ensure less input cost of farmers and expenses related to farming. A massive campaign is underway to provide solar pumps to farmers at a very nominal cost. We are also working to turn our farmers into energy producers. Moreover, our government is equally promoting beekeeping, animal husbandry and fisheries along with grain producing farmers. During previous governments, the production of honey in the country was about 76,000 metric tonnes. Now, more than 1,20,000 metric tonnes of honey is being produced in the country. The farmers of the country are exporting double the amount of honey that they exported at the time of the previous governments.

Friends,

Experts say that fisheries is the sector which generates maximum profits entailing less costs. Our government is running a blue revolution scheme to promote fisheries. Some time back, the Rs. 20, 000 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana was also launched. As a result of these efforts, all the previous records of fish production in the country have been shattered. Now, the country is working on a target of fish exports of more than one lakh crore rupees in the next three-four years.

Brothers and sisters,

The steps taken by our central and state governments … You can see the steps being taken in Madhya Pradesh for the welfare of farmers. These steps are fully dedicated to farmers. Time will run short if I start illustrating all those steps. But, I gave you some examples so that you can test the sincerity of our government, can check our track record and understand our noble intentions. Therefore, on the basis of this, I say that there is no reason for mistrust in the agricultural reforms that we have introduced recently, there is no place for falsehood. Now, I will tell you about the biggest lie that is being spread after the agricultural reforms. This lie is being repeated loudly again and again. No opportunity is being lost in spreading this lie without any reason or logic. As I said earlier, it is our government which implemented the Swaminathan Committee report. If we had to withdraw MSP, why would we implement the Swaminathan Committee report? You did not implement the report; we could also have done the same. On the other hand, we implemented it. Secondly, our government is so serious about MSP that it announces MSP even before sowing. It also helps farmers as they know beforehand the MSP on their crops. It helps them if they want to make any changes.

Friends,

It has been more than six months since these new laws were enacted. MSP was announced as has been the practice even after the laws were formulated. This was done accordingly even during the fight against the Corona pandemic. The procurement on MSP was done from the same mandis in the same way even after the new laws were made. If the MSP was announced after the laws were made, the government procurement happened from the same mandis, then will anybody accept this lie that MSP will be done away with. Therefore, I say there can’t be a bigger lie and conspiracy than this. Therefore, I assure each and every farmer of the country that MSP will continue as before, it will not be stopped.

Friends,

The figures that I am now quoting will make things crystal clear. The MSP on wheat during the previous government was 1400 rupees per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on wheat at Rs. 1975 per quintal. The MSP on paddy during the previous government was Rs. 1310 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on paddy nearly at Rs. 1870 per quintal. In the previous government, the MSP on jowar was Rs. 1520 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on jowar at Rs. 2640 per quintal. In the previous government, the MSP on masoor dal was Rs. 2950 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on masoor dal at Rs. 5100 per quintal. In the previous government, the MSP on grams was Rs. 3100 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on grams at Rs. 5100 per quintal. In the previous government, the MSP on tur dal was Rs. 4300 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on tur dal at Rs. 6000 per quintal. In the previous government, the MSP on moong dal was Rs. 4500 per quintal. Our government is giving MSP on moong dal at about Rs. 7200 per quintal.

Friends,

This is proof that our government is serious about increasing MSP from time to time. Besides increasing the MSP, the government is also emphasizing on maximum procurement through MSP. The previous government had bought about 1700 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during its five years. Our government bought 3000 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from farmers in the five years on MSP, which is almost double. The previous government had bought about 3.75 lakh metric tonnes of oilseeds during its five years. Our government bought more than 56 lakh tonnes of oilseeds from farmers in the five years on MSP. See the difference between3.75 lakh and 56 lakhs! That is our government not only increased the MSP, but procured the crops of the farmers on MSP at a very large amount. The biggest advantage is that more money has reached the bank accounts of farmers than ever before. The farmers received Rs. 3,74,000 crores for selling their produce of paddy and wheat on MSP in the five years of the previous government. Our government has given more than Rs. 800,000 crores to the farmers by purchasing wheat and paddy in the five years.

Friends,

There is another example of how the farmers were ill treated by the people who do politics over them which is the cultivation of pulses. Recall the period during 2014 when there was a huge crisis of pulses. Pulses were being imported. Kitchen expenses were rising with the increase in the prices of pulses. No stone was left unturned to destroy the pulse cultivators in the country where there is maximum consumption of pulses. The farmer was distraught and they were enjoying importing pulses from other countries. I can understand the necessity to import pulses if there is a natural calamity or a crisis, because the citizens of the country can’t be left starved. But why does it always have to be always?

Friends,

These people would not offer MSP on pulses and buy pulses under MSP. Such was the condition that for five years before 2014, they bought only 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of pulses from the farmers. Remember this figure. Only 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of pulses! When our government was formed in 2014, we changed the policy and took big decisions. We also encouraged the farmers to produce pulses.

Brothers and sisters,

Our government bought 112 lakh metric tonnes of pulses from farmers at MSP as compared to earlier. Imagine, 112 lakh metric tonnes from their era of 1.5 lakh metric tonnes! How much money did they give to pulse cultivators in their five years? They gave Rs. 650 crores, and what our government did? We gave about Rs. 50,000 crores to the farmers who produced pulses. Today, the pulse farmer is also getting more money; the prices of pulses have also come down, which has directly benefited the poor. Those, who were not able to give MSP to the farmers and buy properly at MSP, are misleading the farmers over MSP.

Friends,

Another lie is being spread over agricultural reforms and that is regarding APMC, government mandis (procurement markets). What we have done in laws? The laws give freedom and new options to farmers. If somebody has to sell soap in the country, the government does not decide that one has to sell at a very particular shop. If somebody has to sell scooters, the government does not decide that one has to sell to a particular dealer. But the government has been repeatedly telling the farmers from the last 70 years to sell your produce at particular mandis. The farmer could not sell his produce anywhere other than these mandis. What we have said in new laws is that the farmer can sell his produce in the same mandis if he finds it profitable, but if gets better prices outside mandis, then he should have this right. Is my farmer brother not entitled to this in democracy?

Now the farmer will sell his produce where he gets better prices. Mandis also exist. He can sell there as he was doing earlier. It will depend on him. In fact, the farmers have started selling their produce outside mandis after the new laws were introduced. Recently, a group of paddy cultivators entered into an agreement with a rice mill. Their income has increased by 20 per cent. At another place, one thousand potato growers entered into an agreement with a company. This company has assured 35 per cent more than their costs as a guarantee. I was also reading a news story where a farmer got double the amount of prices after he sold chilies and bananas directly. Now you tell me, should every farmer not get this benefit and right? These agricultural reforms are atonement for the farmers who have been sinned in the past by tying them to mandis. I reiterate. Not a single mandi in any part of India has closed down even six months after the laws were promulgated. Then why this lie is being spread. The fact is that our government is spending more than 500 crore rupees for modernizing and computerizing APMC. So, from where did the question of shutting down APMCs arise? Just spread lies repeatedly without any reason or rhyme.

Friends,

The third biggest lie that is being spread regarding agricultural reforms is regarding farming agreement. The farming agreement is not something new in the country. Are we implementing farming agreements all of a sudden by making new laws? No. For a long, farming agreement has been there in our country. Not only in one or two states, the farming agreements are taking place in several states from earlier times. Recently, somebody sent me a newspaper report of 8th March, 2019. The Congress government in Punjab is celebrating the 800 crore rupees worth farming agreement with a multinational company. It is also a matter of happiness for our government that there should be more investment in the farming of my farmer brothers and sisters of Punjab.

Friends,

There was a very big risk for farmers in the rules relating to the earlier farming agreement in the country. Our government has made legal provisions to protect the farmers during the farming agreement under the new laws. We have ensured the maximum benefit of farmers in the farming agreement. We have made legal provisions to ensure that those entering into agreement with farmers will not be able to run away from their responsibilities. The sponsor or the stakeholder will have to live up to the promise made to the farmers. After the enactment of the new laws, there are so many instances of farmers complaining to the SDM of their locality and within a few days of the complaint, the farmers got their dues.

Friends,

Under the contract farming, the contract is confined only to crops or produce. The land remains with the farmer. The agreement has nothing to do with the land. Even if there is a natural calamity, the farmer gets full money according to the contract. According to the new laws, if the stakeholder who is investing the capital records more profits suddenly, there is a provision in this law that he will have to give some part of the increased profit to the farmer over and above the fixed agreement.

Friends,

It is not compulsory to enter into contract. It all depends upon the farmer whether to enter into agreement or not. But the provisions have been made so that nobody can play foul or take advantage of the gullible farmers. The penalties in the new laws are for sponsors and not for farmers. The sponsor does not have the right to terminate the agreement. If he terminates the contract, he will have to pay heavy penalties to the farmer. But if the farmer wants to terminate the contract, he can do so without any penalty. I suggest the state governments draw a blueprint of contract farming in an easy language and share that with the farmers so that nobody can cheat them.

Friends,

I am happy that the farmers across the country have not only embraced the new agricultural reforms, but are also spurning those who are spreading confusion. If there is still any apprehension among some farmers, I request them to rethink. Be alert to the forces which are spreading lies and confusion regarding something which has not happened and will not happen in future. Recognize these people my farmer brothers and sisters. These people have always betrayed the farmers. They have misused the farmers earlier and they are doing the same thing now. And even after my words, even after these efforts of the Government, if anybody has any apprehension, we bow our heads, fold our hands and with humility want to tell the farmer brothers that we are ready to speak on any issue and address their concerns. The farmers of the country and their welfare is one of our top priorities.

Friends,

Today, I have talked in detail and placed truth on several issues before the country. Once again, I am going to speak in detail with the farmers of the country on 25th December, which is the birth anniversary of our revered Atalji. On that day, another installment of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi will be transferred in the bank accounts of crores of farmers. The farmers of my country have decided to change with time and work to make a self-reliant India.

With new resolutions, we will tread on the new territories and this country will succeed and so will be the farmers of this country. With this belief, I once again congratulate the Madhya Pradesh government, and express my gratitude to all of you for giving me the opportunity to talk with millions of farmers of Madhya Pradesh today. Once again, I extend my best wishes to all of you.

Many many thanks!

Explore More
77ਵੇਂ ਸੁਤੰਤਰਤਾ ਦਿਵਸ ਦੇ ਅਵਸਰ ’ਤੇ ਲਾਲ ਕਿਲੇ ਦੀ ਫ਼ਸੀਲ ਤੋਂ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ, ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਨਰੇਂਦਰ ਮੋਦੀ ਦੇ ਸੰਬੋਧਨ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ-ਪਾਠ

Popular Speeches

77ਵੇਂ ਸੁਤੰਤਰਤਾ ਦਿਵਸ ਦੇ ਅਵਸਰ ’ਤੇ ਲਾਲ ਕਿਲੇ ਦੀ ਫ਼ਸੀਲ ਤੋਂ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ, ਸ਼੍ਰੀ ਨਰੇਂਦਰ ਮੋਦੀ ਦੇ ਸੰਬੋਧਨ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ-ਪਾਠ
Lok Sabha polls: J&K's Baramulla sees highest voter turnout in over 4 decades

Media Coverage

Lok Sabha polls: J&K's Baramulla sees highest voter turnout in over 4 decades
NM on the go

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!