Opposition stuck in 20th century; voters want politics of 21st: PM Modi | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Opposition stuck in 20th century; voters want politics of 21st: PM Modi

By, New Delhi
May 31, 2024 02:32 AM IST

In an interview to Hindustan that came on a day when campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls closed, Modi also endorsed the idea of simultaneous polls

The voter of today wants to see politics of the 21st century but the Opposition is still stuck in the 20th century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, expressing confidence about winning a third consecutive term and hitting out at the Congress for being arrogant.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to offer prayers at Bhagwati Amman Temple, in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to offer prayers at Bhagwati Amman Temple, in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday. (PTI)

In an interview to Hindustan that came on a day when campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls closed, Modi also endorsed the idea of simultaneous polls, and alleged that the Opposition is attempting to divide the country on the basis of caste and religion. He spoke about the scorching temperatures affecting turnouts and the reason he chose his electoral constituency of Varanasi, which goes to the polls in the seventh and final phase on June 1.

“Today people are asking what are you going to do for our children, then they (the Opposition) are talking about their father, grandfather, great grandfather, grandmother, great grandmother. When people ask what is the road map for the development of the country, then they start claiming that it is the family seat. They are dividing people into castes, raising issues related to religion, doing politics of appeasement,” he said.

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He also said that the public will teach the Opposition a lesson for trying to sow divisions.

“The politics of division, this thinking of division is now being openly put forward by the Opposition. Now they are not even hiding it. They are openly demonstrating it, so all these questions should be asked to them. The public will teach a tough lesson to such people who divide the country and society in this election,” he said.

Modi said the people are rejecting political parties that believe in negative politics.

“Those who believe only in the politics of opposition, who oppose just for the sake of opposition, such people are constantly being rejected by the people. In such a situation, those people will have to understand the mood of the people and improve themselves,” he said.

He took particular aim at the Congress, saying the opposition party was cut off from its roots and unable to grasp the basic elements of democracy. To be sure, complaints about a divisive campaign have also been levelled against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and PM Modi during the campaign.

Read Here: PM Modi begins 45-hr ‘dhyan’ at Kanyakumari's Vivekananda Rock Memorial

“Congress leaders are not able to come out of divisive rhetoric, personal attacks and using abusive language. Congress is arrogant, it does not listen to the public, it cannot change. But their allies should see what is the mood of the public, what they are saying. They have to understand that if they follow this path, then they are going to get continuous rejection,” he said.

Modi repeated his campaign trail allegations that the Opposition had divided the country on the basis of religion and caste by doing appeasement politics and said he won’t allow anyone to syphon reservations for scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and other backward classes, a recurrent theme in his speeches.

He also supported the idea of simultaneous national, state and local elections but said that a consensus needed to be built around it. A high-level committee led by former president Ram Nath Kovind has already unanimously backed simultaneous polls across national, state and local tiers and called for a raft of constitutional amendments to achieve the goal, potentially setting the stage for the far-reaching but controversial reform that can reshape the world’s largest democracy.

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“One nation, one election has been the idea of ​​BJP and our government, but we want a consensus to be built around it. The report submitted by the committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind Ji explains in detail about one country, one election. There should be a discussion, debate, dialogue across the country on this, there should be a discussion on its benefits and disadvantages, there should be a consensus on what can be done in this, how it can be done,” he said.

Modi said that the current system of staggered elections was not suitable and was hurting governance. “There is a need to change it, but there is a need for dialogue on how we will do it.”

From the first elections in Independent India in 1952 until 1967, elections were held simultaneously across the country. But since the Lok Sabha and state assemblies can be dissolved before their tenures end, the state and national elections came to be held at different times after that.

Several committees, including a parliamentary panel, the Niti Aayog and the Election Commission of India, have studied simultaneous polls in the past, backing the idea but flagging logistical concerns.

Modi flagged the searing temperatures across the country and its impact on the turnout, but again advocated for a consensus.

Read Here: Congress files complaint with ECI against Modi’s Kanyakumari meditation break

“I know what problems there are in summer. But what should happen in this, what changes should be made, should happen or should not happen, this cannot be the decision of one person, one party or just the government. There should be a consensus of the entire system, people, voters, political parties, workers. “

He also held out a message for the voters of the Purvanchal region – 13 seats in eastern UP and eight in Bihar go to the polls on June 1 -- and said the attitude of the previous governments was disappointing.

“Votes were taken from these areas, political ambitions were fulfilled but when it came to development, these areas were called backward and left behind. People in Purvanchal were made to crave for basic facilities like electricity, water, roads…Today we are creating the Ganga of development in this area. From expressways to rural roads, we are improving and changing the infrastructure,” he said.

Modi also spoke extensively about his relationship with Varanasi, one of India’s holiest cities. “I believe that I did not choose Kashi, Kashi chose me…The kind of experience I had in Kashi is unprecedented. That is why when I came here, I said that Maa Ganga has called me, now I also say that Maa Ganga has adopted me.”

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