New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his political opponents and detractors have not been able to play the role of sincere 'critics', and most of the time, there are only allegations levelled against him.
In an interview with 'Open Magazine', Mr Modi spoke on a wide range of issues, including the vexed farmers' stir and often said his opponents – "think that the issue is not whether these decisions would benefit people, but the issue for them is that if these types of decisions are taken, then no one will be able to stop Modi's success."
"I want to urge everyone that the issue is not whether Modi succeeds or fails, it should be about whether our country succeeds."
He said: "You can see the same rajneetik dhokhadhadi (political betrayal of a cause) when it comes to Aadhaar, GST, farm laws and even crucial matters such as arming our security forces. Promise something and make arguments for it but oppose the same thing later without any moral fibre."
Trying to clear several doubts about farmers' agitation and finer issues involved in the same, the Prime Minister said, "We are committed to empowering the small farmers in every way. The farm laws about which you are talking, the Government has been saying right from the first day that on whichever point there is a disagreement, the Government is ready to sit together and discuss those issues."
He further said, "Many meetings have also been held in this regard, but no one till now has come up with a specific point of disagreement that we want this to be changed."
On the role of opposition parties, chiefly the Congress, which had promised agrarian reforms, before elections 2019, the Prime Minister said – "If you look at those who are opposing the pro-farmer reforms today, you will see the real meaning of intellectual dishonesty and rajneetik dhokhadhadi. These were the same people who wrote letters to chief ministers asking them to do the exact same thing that our Government has done."
"These were the same people who wrote in their manifesto that they would enact the same reforms that we have brought. Yet, just because some other political party, blessed by the will of the people, is enacting the same reforms, they have made a complete U-turn in a brazen display of intellectual dishonesty," the Prime Minister said.
On what he thinks about his 'critics', Mr Modi said – "….. for my own healthy development, I attach a big importance to criticism."
"I, with an honest mind, respect critics a lot," said Modi, who is often accused of being an autocrat.
However, the prime minister said, "But, unfortunately, the number of critics is very few. Mostly, people only level allegations, the people who play games about perception are more in number. And the reason for this is that, for criticism, one has to do a lot of hard work, research and, in today's fast-paced world, maybe people don't have time. So sometimes, I miss critics."
To a specific question, the prime minister was unambiguous that many benefits of his government's reform measures would 'take time', and he will not be able to reap the rewards in the 2024 general elections.
"This question is also the result of old thoughts of political pundits. If this would have been true, then I would not have been given the opportunity by people to work as a head of government for 20 years. The people of the country are smart enough to understand all good work done with good selfless intentions and support it. And that is why I have been given the opportunity by the people of the country to work as head of the government for 20 continuous years."
"The person who plants a seed should not bother who will get its fruits. The point is not whether I get to reap the benefits of my economic policies or not, the point is that the nation will," Mr Modi added.