People of India don’t demand freebies, they want honesty: PM Modi | india news | Hindustan Times
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People of India don’t demand freebies, they want honesty: PM Modi

In what has been the central theme of his party’s political attack in the last three years, Narendra Modi said the “Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)” slogan was not against the opposition party or electoral outcomes but it was against the culture that had come to represent the party.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 07:17 IST
Anuja and Gyan Varma
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview with a TV news channel on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview with a TV news channel on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday it was a myth that people wanted freebies. They wanted honesty and it was the responsibility of the Centre to understand their needs and aspirations, Modi said, as his government gets ready to presents its last full budget in less than two weeks.

“Budget is the property of Parliament. It falls under the ambit of our finance minister, so I don’t want to interfere in that. But those who have seen me as chief minister and also as prime minister, the common man doesn’t want all these things… He doesn’t demand sops and freebies. It is our myth and I trust the common man of the country. We run the government, take decision to fulfil their needs and aspirations,” the Prime Minister said in an interview to a private news channel.

It was for the people to decide if they wanted populism, which reflected the political culture of the Congress, or a break from it so that the country could go from strength to strength.

To a question on rural distress, Modi said it was the duty of the Centre and states to work together to find solutions to farmers’ problems.

“This criticism is justified. We can’t deny this... Some of our attempts and measures in the past have instilled confidence, especially Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,” he said, referring to the crop insurance scheme.

In what has been the central theme of his party’s political attack in the last three years, Modi said the “Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)” slogan was not against the opposition party or electoral outcomes but it was against the culture that had come to represent the party.

“Congress has spread itself as a culture throughout the country... casteism, dynasty, corruption and exploitation, treachery and keeping complete control over power. All this became a part of Indian political culture whose main pillar was the Congress,” Modi said.

For a healthy democracy, it was necessary that the Congress party, too, was freed of the “Congress culture”, he said.

The comments come ahead of a string to state elections. Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura vote in February. Later in the year, assembly elections are due in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where the BJP and the Congress are directly pitted against each other.

These polls will be the first that the Congress will fight under Rahul Gandhi who took over as the party chief on December 16.

To a question if his equation with other world leaders had contributed to isolate Pakistan internationally, Modi said India’s foreign policy was independent of its neighbour.

“If you think India’s foreign policy is based on Pakistan, then this is a grave injustice to India. India’s foreign policy is based in the context of India, India’s foreign policy is based in the context of its relations with the world,” he said.

“It is issue based, our foreign policy is not based around one nation and it shouldn’t be. And if you think we are doing so much hard work around the world to isolate one nation, then that is wrong. This is not our work.”