Once again making a strong pitch for his idea of “one nation, one election”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said such a move would prevent allegations of Central agencies, such as ED and CBI, harassing Opposition leaders during election time.
With voting in five state elections, including UP and Punjab, beginning in phases on Thursday, Modi said: “There is a BJP wave. The BJP will win elections in these five states with a huge majority.”
Speaking to ANI in an interview, Modi also rejected criticism that he had skirted key issues raised in Parliament, such as the border dispute with China, and said different ministries had already responded to the Opposition’s questions.
According to the Prime Minister, the allegations of investigating agencies targeting Opposition leaders during elections are misplaced. Modi suggested that if agencies like ED and CBI, which he said were doing a “commendable job by recovering national wealth”, should not be conspicuous during election time, there should be simultaneous elections.
“In Hindustan, there are always elections, so should the Government stop working? Well, once and for all, you decide on this, that the election will be held once in five years. Everyone will get together and fight elections. Every election — state and the Centre — will be held together. We will save on expenses also. Then, ED or CBI won’t be conspicuous at all… These offices work independently. The elections come in between…What can they do? The Government has no role in it,” he said.
Asked why he had devoted so much time in his House addresses to the Congress, which is not a major poll player in states such as UP, Modi said: “Congress is the mainstream that is responsible for the country’s status today. Of all the Prime Ministers, except myself and Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee), every PM was from the Congress school. Because of this, Congress style has become the mainstream of India’s politics. What’s the basis of Congress ideology — communalism, casteism, dynasty, corruption, linguism (bhashavaad). So when I say Congress-mukt Bharat, it does not mean its numbers… Like Communism, which is not in power anywhere except in a corner in this country but is a dangerous ideology, this is also not good for the country.”
Responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism against his attack on his family, Modi said he referred to Jawaharlal Nehru as India’s former prime minister not as “anyone’s grandfather, or great father”.
Asked about Gandhi’s statement that he did not respond to issues he had raised, Modi said different ministries had given their explanations on those topics. “How do I reply to a person who does not listen, skips Parliament?” he asked, apparently referring to Gandhi’s absence during his reply to the motion of thanks debate in the Lok Sabha.
Referring to his remark that Opposition governments in Maharashtra and Delhi had prompted migrant labourers to return to their home states, thereby escalating the spread of Covid, Modi said Congress workers had distributed free tickets for the workers while the AAP in Delhi urged people to leave the city.
Modi blamed the media for ignoring his Government’s efforts to take everyone along. Referring to a specific instance in this regard, he claimed that no one had reported at the time that he had provided benefits for Muslim OBCs while heading the Gujarat government.
Saying that the media talks about “a particular caste having a particular number of votes”, Modi said “this language should be changed”.