This was the first day of the election year; Prime Minister Narendra Modi began it the way he is known for. He took the whole gamut of questions-from demonetization to black money to institutional misuse, Ram Mandir,Surgical and every odd question that the people of India would like to have the answer of, before he will be at the EVM some four months now.
Through his replies to the ANI he refused to agree on the charges that Demonetisation was a jolt. He clarified that the exercise had the backing of a year’s warning. Rather he said it had become inevitable given the then prevailing parallel economy. On Ram Mandir issue he ruled out any governmental intervention until the legal process is done. GST, he said, is a consensually developed tax structure thus does not deserve any criticism from the likes of Rahul Gandhi. . He gave an emotive recount of the surgical strike in which he said to have direct involvement. He turned the table to Congress on the charges of demeaning the institutions and took a dig at the number one family as “being out on bail in case of financial irregularity.” He elaborated his government’s responsibility towards the “self respecting middle class”.
He, during the interview, also disparaged the strength of the Mahagathbandhan and pointed at the incoherence in it regarding its policy, leadership and interest.
“This was not a Jhatka (jolt)”, said the Prime Minister on demonetisation on being asked, “why the jhatka.”, after he said that demonetisation had become necessary for the health of the economy.
He said, “This (demonetization) wasn’t a jhatka. We had warned people a year ago, that if you have such money (black money), you can deposit it, pay penalties and you will be helped out. However they thought Modi is like the others were, very few came forward voluntarily…it did not take place over night. The process went on for a year after that the step had to be taken.”
On its impact on economy growth, Modi said that there is always a slowdown whenever a system takes a shift. He said even the train slows down when it changes track. Economy growth had dropped to 2 percent when Manmohan Singh came with economy reform.
He said demonetization led the economy towards formalization; notes in use with respect to GDP have lowered.