Rising India: Amit Shah drops 'Frame Modi' bombshell, then questions Sonia & Co's silence | Full interview (2023)

In a bombshell on Wednesday, Union Home Secretary and senior BJP leader Amit Shah revealed how he was regularly pressured by federal investigators to "slander" the then-Gujarat premier.Narendra Modiin case of encounter Sohrabuddin Sheikh. In an interview with Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi at the News18 Rising India Summit, Shah asked why UPA Chair Sonia Gandhi, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then Home Secretary P. Chidambaram and Congress leadersRahul Gandhiwere silent then.

“All these people were there when that happened. Chidambaram, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi were all present at the time... Throughout my interrogation I was told: "Modi ka calls the Do, the Do[give us Modi's name]. But why should I frame him? Today the same Congress weeps over its fate. They need to think about their behavior," Shah said.

Amit Shah shared his views on a wide range of issues in the candid interview, from noting that Rahul Gandhi was expelled from Parliament to destroying the myth of "opposition unity" ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Confident that India will scale greater heights under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, he also expressed confidence that the BJP would win next year's general election with a larger mandate.


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Edited excerpts

Amit Shahji, thank you for coming to the Rising India Summit. I would like to take a few minutes and tell you why we are gathered here. We have conducted this summit for the past five years. This year's theme was "Rising India: Real Heroes". We wish to shine the spotlight on ordinary people who have made extraordinary achievements, many of which have also been congratulated by your government through the Padma Awards. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also directly interacted with some of them on his Mann Ki Baat radio programs.

My first question to you is how you see “Rising India” after nine years in government and what contribution “real heroes” make to it?

In the last nine years, India has proven itself in all areas of the world. Be it in sport, in business, in strengthening democracy, in cooperative federalism or in research. In the last 10 years since independence, the most has been done for national security. India has excelled in many areas and credit goes to the people who perform and work on the ground.

The infrastructure and systems are in place, but if the real heroes hadn't stepped up with panache, it wouldn't have been possible to reach this status. Building on this foundation, I am confident that we can achieve PM Modi's dream that India will be number 1 in every field when it celebrates 100 years of independence in 2047.

We last met a few months ago and we are meeting at an interesting time. Elections are coming up and the hottest political issue right now is that of Rahul Gandhi. A court in Surat convicted him in a defamation case and he was immediately disqualified from the Lok Sabha and ordered to vacate his official bungalow. Do you think this would lead to public sympathy for Rahul Gandhi?

Congress is trying to create a false narrative and through your channel I want to tell people what the reality is. The law previously provided a period of three months during which a person sentenced to two years in prison could apply for a stay. The law does not provide for a court that imposed the sentence to stay the sentencing, only the sentence.

In 2013, the Lily Thomas vs. Union of India judgment came in, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the three-month period should not be granted. It questioned why elected representatives should benefit from this special provision. It states that your election to the legislature will be revoked the moment you are convicted. This was a ruling from 2013 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power, led by Rahul Gandhi's mother, Sonia Gandhi.

We didn't try to interfere in that ruling, but the Congress-led administration wanted to at the time because they wanted to save RJD leader Lalu Pradad Yadav. Manmohan Singh's government issued an ordinance. Rahul Gandhi declared it "nonsense" and tore up his own government's decree in front of the whole country. Since he tore up the ordinance, who in Congress would dare try to turn it into legislation. It has been withdrawn. Had the ordinance become law, Rahul Gandhi might have escaped this fate.

Second, he has yet to appeal to uphold his conviction. What is this arrogance? Do you want to remain an MP but not go to court? Where does this arrogance come from? He's not the first to be disqualified after a conviction. Previously, political leaders who held higher positions and were more experienced than he was expelled from Parliament by the same law. I can count three names right now - Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was the first to be disqualified under the law, then Jayalalithaaji, and Rashid Alviji. A total of 17 people, including Rahul Gandhi, were disqualified. None of the others wore black clothing or caused a riot because it was a Supreme Court ruling and the law of the country.

I want to ask the people of this country, should there be a separate law for just one family? Whatever happens, they blame PM Modi. Now they blame the spokesman for Lok Sabha as well. They should read the law, but I know they won't understand. High-level congressional leaders who are Supreme Court advocates and are in fact still in the party because they are advocates also don't tell them that it's not in the hands of the Lok Sabha speaker. Even if Rahul Gandhi was disqualified two days later, everything he said as an MP during those two days should have been erased from the records as his disqualification occurred at the moment of his conviction.

But he [Rahul Gandhi] was also immediately ordered to vacate his house [office]. You could have given him a few days, waited some time?

What would have been the benefit, tell me?

It would have been symbolic. Now they [opposition] call it vendetta politics.

What is symbolic of what special favor [should he not have been asked to vacate]? It is the Supreme Court's order to take immediate action once the verdict is reached. The verdict had also arrived online and why would the Lok Sabha spokesman disregard the court? Should he do it because [Rahul] is from the Gandhi family? You ask us questions, why don't you ask him [Rahul Gandhi] why he didn't go to court? Shouldn't you ask him?

I think he wants to stretch this topic.

It doesn't matter how far he wants to go. This is a legal position. There is no vendetta politics because this is the Supreme Court ruling that was made when your government [Congress] was in power.

Rahul Gandhi says he will hold his first rallyKarnatakain Kolar, where he had used the profanity for Modiji. Does he want to gain sympathy by doing this? Is he trying to make this a choice between Modi and Rahul in Karnataka?

If he wants to give his speech from this place himself, how can we stop him? In a democracy, anyone, anywhere, can say anything. If he wants to make modi against Rahul, I don't mind. There can be no greater formula for the BJP's victory than this.

Amitji, your party is trying to add an anti-OBC color to the profanity Rahul Gandhi used against PM Modi. Why so?

See, he didn't use it for modesji. You can listen to the whole speech and also play it before my interview so people can listen too. He used the profanity for Modi Samaaj, meaning everyone in Teli society. He said why do all thieves have the surname Modi? So he intentionally insulted the OBCs. The party doesn't make it an issue, it's just what Rahul Gandhi said. The claim of the person who went to court against Gandhi's testimony and summary of the verdict is also the same.

(Video) Night

He also said that I am not a Savarkar that I will apologize. Gandhis do not apologize.

See, if he doesn't want to apologize, he shouldn't have posted bail either. Mahatma Gandhi did that once. When the British punished him, he said he would not impose the penalty or apologize. Rahul Gandhi should have done the same. My information is that he left Rs 15,000 to secure a bond. If he doesn't want to apologize, that's his wish. But such words should not be used for Savarkar. I can say that Veer Savarkar was one of the people most tortured for this country. In the entire struggle for freedom, there is only one person who has been sentenced to double life imprisonment. For such a brave person to use these kind of words... Rahul Gandhi may not trust us so he can read his grandmother Indira Gandhi's views on Savarkar. Even his allies - Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar - discourage him from using such terminology.

Amitji, until now,Mamata Banerjeeand Arvind Kejriwal were absent from the Congress. They are now also facing Congress and Rahul Gandhi on this issue. To a certain extent, the opposition has come to terms on this issue.

You see, I've been asked this question since the day I got into national politics. Tell me something. Let's say they come together on some platform. What will they do in Bengal? Will Kejriwal leave his Delhi seat for Rahul Gandhi? What is the point of coming together? (laughs) They're all fighting each other. They only come together to face Narendra Modi. It's ok, we don't mind.

All opposition use this to say that democracy in India is in danger. This narrative also finds a place in some parts of Western media. Do you think this disqualification issue will add some credibility to this narrative?

Why wasn't democracy in jeopardy when Lalu Prasad was disqualified? Why wasn't it in jeopardy when Mohammad Faizal was disqualified from NCP? What about when Jayalalithaa got disqualified? Is there only danger when the Gandhi family is involved? 17 people were disqualified. This is the law of the country, which you [Rahul Gandhi] could have changed, but you tore it up and called it "nonsense". Why are you patting yourself on the chest now?

Amitji, let's take a look at some state elections coming up this year. There are big elections like in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and this is seen as the semi-finals before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. How do you see the elections in Karnataka? How do you think the situation is there and how many seats will you give to the BJP?

I spent nine days in Karnataka before the elections were announced today. I have visited all five regions of Karnataka - Mumbai Karnataka, Kalyan Karnataka, Bengaluru, Mysuru. I can tell you with certainty that we will be way ahead of half time. We will form a government with a clear majority.

Since 1985, no other government in Karnataka has repeated itself since Ram Krishna Hegde. Are you still that confident?

For 30 years there was no full majority government in Karnataka. For many years it was not even repeated in Karnataka. But both changed under Modijiand it shall happen this time too. Do not worry.

Something strange has been observed in Karnataka. The Prime Minister is Bommai but the face is Yediyurappa. The Prime Minister also held his hand and encouraged him when they met. How do you see it? Under whose face do you fight the election? Will Bommai return as Prime Minister if you win?

Let me get one thing straight first. Yediyurappajiis our Senior Leader, he is a member of the Central Committee and Electoral Committee, and the BJP has never questioned his seniority. We are not a party that marginalizes the powerless. They are respected in our party, whether or not an experienced leader is in power. Today I say this in front of all the Yediyurappaji, with plenty of charisma and appeal, will play the role of star campaigner in Karnataka. He also clarified this in the Karnataka assembly.

So if you win, will Bommai return as Prime Minister?

The party decides. There hasn't been a discussion about it in the party yet. Bommaijiis our prime minister and has done a good job. We will definitely come back to power on the plank of development carried out in Karnataka during the Yediyurappa-Bommai era. The people of the state want a two-engine government, a government that can implement Modiji's plans, programs and visions at the grassroots level.

JDS has issued a list of 150 people, while Congress has put up around 125 candidates. They haven't announced any names yet. Is that something to worry about?

No, no, there's nothing alarming about that. We have a procedure. We listen to the Zilla, then there is a discussion at the state level, which goes to the central parliamentary committee, which makes a decision. In other places, only five families have to sit together and make phone calls. At JDS, there aren't even five families. Only one family has to sit together and make all the decisions (laughs). Therefore, it is easy for them to make such decisions. We have to have these discussions in several rounds, that takes time.

People also say that JDS is BJP's B-Team. How do you see it?

In previous elections, we were the number one party with the most seats. We won 104 seats while JDS had 34. Then JDS sat in the fold of Congress for power and both formed the government. So tell me whose B-Team is the JDS?

So you're not talking to them?

No, we will fight for a pure and clear majority in all seats. Under PM Modi's leadership, we will get a clear majority. Talking to anyone is out of the question.

Even if you fall short, under no circumstances will you ally with them?

There is no talk of an alliance with anyone. We go into the field with the confidence that we will get a full majority.

Before the elections were announced, your party split the 4 percent reserve into 2 percent each for lingayats and vokkaligas. The opposition calls this their strategy of polarization. What is your opinion?

I agree that it took some time to take this step. Because religious reservations are not in accordance with the constitution. It's unconstitutional. Congressional government took that polarizing step, and we just corrected it.

Let's talk about the 2024 election. PM Modi made a major challenge to the opposition a few days ago. He said a "bhrashtachari bachao andolan" was in progress. So, are we assuming there will be 2024 modes vs the rest? Will you be able to break the 300 mark in 2024?

First, let me explain the concept of modes vs. rest. I name four parties – K Chandrasekhar Rao, Mamata Banerjees Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Congress. If these four come together using the Modi vs Rest formula and KCR is called to speak at UP, how will that affect anything in UP? If the Mamata Banerje meeting takes place in Telangana, what difference will it make? (Laughs) What difference can aAkhilesh Yadavdo in Bengal? All of these people are fighting each other in their respective states. The "unity" is to increase your TRP. You should thank these people. This unit has no meaning. Neither of them consider each other as Neta or are willing to give them even a place. Let's say TRS gives Mamata Banerjee five seats in Telangana and SP gives her five seats in UP. She also retaliates in Bengal. That would be real unity.

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What if there is a candidate for a seat in Uttar Pradesh and the joint candidate is from Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress?

Neither the SP nor the BSP say so. They ally in Telangana and West Bengal. how are they together The BSP and SP don't say anything about the alliance, only your channel says it.

The opposition say the central investigative agencies are being used by the government to harass them. Leaders like Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain are in prison, K Kavitha (daughter of KCR) and Hemant Soren are on the CBI-ED radar. Opposition asks are CBI and ED offices on lockdown in BJP-led states?

That's not the case. In the 2014 and 2019 elections, the BJP promised the country's population to fight corruption. Our fight is against corruption. I would like to reiterate the data revealed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2004-14 the ED recovered Rs 5,000 crore with this Act under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

But under the Modi government it took back Rs 1,10,000 crore. Not just 5% of it belongs to politicians, but to Babus, corrupt businessmen who broke the law and didn't pay taxes. Shall we end our fight? Do the people of this country want such a law that does not investigate a corrupt politician? We filed 5,000 corruption cases. Congress didn't even do 500. Is that 5,000 cases against other party officials? No. It's all in front of people, bureaucrats, businessmen and middlemen.

As for the injustice, who filed a lawsuit against Lalu Prasad Yadav? The UPA government did. Who filed the case against Sheikh Abdullah (former CM of Jammu and Kashmir) in which a group of ministers were put on a large Air India plane to send him to jail? Indira Gandhi did it. These are corruption cases. I would like to remind Rahul Gandhi that during the state of emergency hundreds of opposition leaders were sent to prison and there was no bail. Here, now we have that, you can go to court. I will tell you how the law was abused, I was the victim.

Congress has not filed a corruption lawsuit against us. There was an encounter and I was the secretary of the interior of that state and the CBI filed a case against me and they arrested me. The CBI inducted me, which should still be there if Congress hadn't removed it. For 90% of CBI's questions, the refrain was, "Why are you tensing up? Just take Modi's name and we will set you free.” We didn't wear black clothes, we didn't protest.

A SIT was formed against the CM (Narendra Modi). There was no case of corruption. A bogus insurgency lawsuit was filed, which the Supreme Court dismissed. We didn't attract any attention. We never wore black clothes and blocked the work of Parliament. And I will tell you the result, they arrested me, I was released on bail within 90 days by the Supreme Court, which said there was no evidence against me. I applied for acquittal in a court in Mumbai, the case was taken out of Gujarat, which said the CBI brought the case for political revenge, so we drop all charges against Amit Shah. We didn't create a scene.

It was the same people; Fr. Chidambaram was present, Sonia Gandhi oversaw the UPA, Manmohan Singh was there, Rahul Gandhi was the MP. What happened now? We have brought charges against you (Congress) for corruption and indecent speech. We have not submitted a fake case. Arvind Kejriwal cries every day. So! You are all innocent. How long is Jain Sahab (Satyendra) in prison? It's been a year and a half. Why isn't he getting bail? What about Manish Sisodia? There are courts in this country.

Everyone should bring their case to court. I just want to say to Congress on abuse of the law, if you point one finger, four fingers will be raised at you. The people of this country have seen everything during your reign (Congress). But we never wore black turbans, dhoti and protested in streets. It's a case you should believe in the law. I've never talked about these things, but you asked me, so I said it. Throughout my interrogation, they kept saying, "Take Modi's name."

Why are they afraid of Modi, why do they want to set a trap for him? You didn't ask me anything else. And because of my case, so many innocent police officers have been put behind bars. And the same Congress, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi claim. They should do a self-examination and return all the money earned through corruption to the court and they can forgive them.

An opposition leader has claimed that if a corrupt leader joins the BJP, the Central Bureau of Investigation will drop the case against him.

This is unfounded. There are courts in this country. If your case is specific, take it to the court that runs the CBI and ED. Why would the CBI and ED dare to go against the court's order? And what does Congress think the courts are closed in this country? Go to court...

Fourteen opposition parties have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court saying the arrests should be made on the basis of the guidelines. You mentioned three guidelines. what do you have to say

In this country, the guidelines for arrest, bail and custody are based on the five judgments of the Supreme Court. They know that too. But they want to mislead the public, but people won't be dissuaded.

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will go to the polls this year. How do you see your situation in these states? What do you think will happen there?

There is time in the elections of these three states. I've researched all three states but Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh a little more. I can tell you that there is anti-Congress sentiment in both states. And Congress itself believes it won't get the numbers in Rajasthan this time.

In Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath gave you a hard fight last time and you had to change government. Nath is contesting the congressional elections again this year. Do you think you will win this time?

We will definitely win this time. Yes, last time there were some problems because caste-based protests were organized under which the elections were conducted. They did the same in Gujarat in the last elections. So it is natural that this would have an impact on the elections. But the public understood that it was propaganda. I went to the state and I feel the atmosphere is good.

Who will be your candidate against Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh?

There will be some candidates for a seat, but we haven't decided who will be the leader yet. As soon as it's decided, we'll let you know.

How do you see your situation in Rajasthan? Ashok Gehlot has deceived his own Congressional High Command. How do you see your fight against him? Will Vasundhara Raje be the CM face of BJP?

We haven't made a decision on Rajasthan yet. But the way Gehlot ran the state, people are dying to change government. That's why the high command of Congress wants to make him President and clear the way, but he hasn't gone. It's her internal affair.

Are you in talks with Sachin Pilot like last time?

I think out of all three states we will get the maximum majority in Rajasthan.

You have attained the state of Maharashtra through your feat. People think you won short term but long term Shiv Sena workers are still with them, sympathy for Uddhav Thackeray is still a factor. What impact will this have on the 2024 election?

What you say is the complete opposite. The BJP and Shiv Sena fought together under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis in the Maharashtra elections. Then, after losing the election, Congress and the NCP said they would make Uddhav Thackay Prime Minister. When Thackeray began interacting with the public, ideological disagreements surfaced because the Shiv Sena had practiced Hindutva politics for years while Congress NCP politics were different.

Hence, people began questioning the loyalists and representatives of Shiv Sena. Those who left Shiv Sena were not because of us, but because of public pressure. This only led to the conclusion that people wanted Shiv Sena and the BJP government to be together. Now the real Shiv Sena is with us, we formed the government together and we will contest the elections together.

Some say that had the BJP fought alone in the last elections in Maharashtra, they could have won the majority without Shiv Sena...

Even I accept that, but Shiv Sena is one of our oldest allies and that's why we trusted them.

But my question is that you are at Eknath Shinde camp now, so is a merger possible?

Eknath Shinde's camp is the real Shiv Sena and even has the stamp of the Electoral Commission. They also have the bow and arrow symbol. Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena will contest elections together. There is no merger issue. There is no such suggestion. We don't even think about it.

How will the seats be divided in 2024?

We'll sit down and sort these things out. And if we have to, we'll call you too.

Regarding the political situation in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court commented that the governor had no need to schedule a ground test given the feud between MLAs from two Shiv Sena groups. What do you have to say about this?

Look, that wasn't a judgement. This was a reaction from a panel of judges after hearing the narrative of the party present. I believe that Shiv Sena's lawyers have also responded well to the Supreme Court's comments by presenting all the facts. We shouldn't speculate much until the final verdict is made. And post the verdict, whatever the SC decides everyone must follow as it is the supreme court in the country. But judges comment, question, observe many things during a hearing, and that cannot be taken as "judgment".

Amitji, let's talk about the polls of 2024. They had the majority and, in most federal states, the saturation seats. There were many places in Uttar Pradesh…

My memory is too sharp. Back in early 2019, this question about saturation seats was the first thing you asked me. And this year itself, our seats increased. I want to reiterate that Narendra Modi will become prime minister again and the BJP will sweep India.

Where do you get these extra seats from? In which states is BJP likely to win?

It will come from many states. Last time I said that we will increase our seats in Bengal. Nobody believed me before. But it has increased. It also increased in Odisha and Telangana. Our party is grassroots and PM Modi's aura is widespread - from a remote corner village to Delhi.

how do you look south modesji's aura exists in Tamil Nadu and Kerala but how is it converted into seats?

Our unit there was weak and we put a lot of effort and hard work into increasing our influence in the region. We have reached many villages and estates. And where we are weak, we have our allies.

So will the cooperation with AIADMK continue?

Yes. Even now we have connections with them.

Amitji, now let's talk about issues directly related to your ministry. How do you see the situation in Punjab? They met Prime Minister Bhagwant Mann in March and two weeks later the police tried to arrest Amritpal but he managed to escape. How did this happen? With so much coordination between the center and the state, how did Amritpal manage to escape?

I can't make everything public here. But I tell you that I meet Punjab CM every three months. In fact, every three months I meet with the premiers of all states. This is nothing new and these meetings cannot be linked to any incident. And as for BJP's Narendra Modi, his team is like a pillar to all states when it comes to law and order because our country's security is at stake and politics cannot interfere. And whatever the Punjab government wants to do, the center is there.

So who do you think is to blame?

Don't give in to speculation too early on about whose fault it was or where someone failed. Many were arrested. Many were beaten by the NSA and many were sent to prison and several cases were also recorded. Large quantities of weapons and ammunition were also seized. I believe that strict action was taken.

And you think Amritpal Singh will be arrested soon?

Nothing happens to my beliefs. Police and authorities are on duty and will do their job. But I believe that none of these things should be part of a public interview. These are sensitive issues and should be addressed accordingly.

We have also seen violent protests outside the Indian Embassy in the UK in the wake of the Punjab protests. There were also protests in Vancouver, Belgium and San Francisco. How do you see it?

An Indian Embassy, ​​in whatever part of the world, is a part of our country. And an attack on his premises is an attack on India. We, on the other hand, registered an FIR in Delhi. And we also took action against those involved in the attack.

What action will you take? Will the OCI card etc. be cancelled?

They were hit with UAPA. We also looked for recordings. The police will act accordingly.

Who do you think is behind this Khalistani movement?

This has been going on since the 90s. It is difficult to identify and say who is behind this. But the majority of Sikh residents, be it in Punjab or across India, firmly believe that they should be with India. And they have contributed to the development of India with the greatest commitment, especially in the security forces. The contribution our Sikh brothers have made to India's security is unmatched.

Recently we saw a clash between the center and the judiciary. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar have questioned the process of appointing judges.

There is no conflict. They all give their opinion. Please don't give him a conflict angle. Narendra Modi's government cannot clash with the judiciary, and neither should any other government. Our Constitution clearly mentioned separate roles for the two. Everyone should remain in their area and their function, and this is also pursued.

The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) bill passed Parliament, but the judiciary called it "unconstitutional." A minister in your government has repeatedly questioned this. That's why it seems like a "judiciary vs. executive".

You didn't hear what our minister said. It's not like we've changed the verdict. In the same judgment there is a paragraph that says the government should create a new SOP for the appointment of judges and submit it to the Supreme Court, and then the Supreme Court will consider it and decide.

Therefore, the center has created and submitted an SOP, which is pending there. Kiren Rijiju just asked to speed it up and think about it as soon as possible. I don't think there is anything to "argue" about.

The “clash” because we saw it in the Adani Dispute Committee, the Supreme Court also published a report on the judges' IB report. It also diluted the government's power in the Electoral Commission. Still don't think there's going to be a clash?

The electoral commission's verdict says the court has taken a stopgap measure pending the government's submission of a law. The Supreme Court has not said that the agreement they reached is the law. The Government has been asked to do this and we will work on it and get it through Parliament.

There's another topic you've worked on extensively, and that's drugs. When will the dream of drug-free India come true?

This is a problem that cannot have a deadline. We can't give a date when it will end.

It's a fight that will go on for a long time. The only thing that can be done is to change the approach. During Modi's regime we got a code in 2020 and there is a four level arrangement. Border patrol, health and pharmaceutical ministries, interior ministries, police, prisons, finance ministries are all banding together to fight it. This is part of that coding. We have seized Rs 22,000 crore worth of drugs over the past nine years. And I burn these drugs myself every three months.

Also, we used to just arrest a person who was found with drugs. Now the approach has changed. We see where he came from, how he got it, etc. It's called a top-to-bottom and a bottom-to-top approach. I strongly believe that youth should join our fight as drugs have a tremendous impact including terrorist financing.

For us, drug-addicted children are victims and smugglers are criminals. We have a separate approach for both.

They fight against Naxalism. You recently visited Sukma in Chhattisgarh and many areas there. How big do you think the problem is and how are you dealing with it?

There was a time when there was talk of a Red Corridor from Kathmandu to Tirupati. It covered 12 states of the country; now the number of states in it has drastically reduced. Today Chhattisgarh, some districts of Maharashtra, one district in MP, one each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as well as Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal are completely free.

Under PM Modi's leadership, left-wing extremism in the country has fallen by 76%. While we've been strict with their cadres, we've also made provisions for those willing to join the mainstream.

The economy was hit worldwide. Most countries are going through a difficult period. India is still a bright spot whose economy is stable. However, the opposition is targeting the government on inflation and unemployment...

Speaking of inflation, India is still in a far better position after the Covid-19 period compared to England, France, Germany and even the US. But I can say that PM Modi has not allowed inflation to affect food prices in the country.

However, the global economy is so intertwined that no country can remain untouched when things change on a global scale. It is not correct to say that the slowdown and inflation will not affect us. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi government has done the job of reducing the impact of this global effect.

I can say today that India was the fastest growing economy in both years of the pandemic.

Nach Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, Manmohanjicame and did a wonderful job of not letting the Indian economy slip from 11th to 12th place. India was ranked 11th. Then came Modiji, which took India's economy from 11th to 5th place. I think that's a very big achievement.

Today India has become a manufacturing hub. Be it in the field of green hydrogen, space, drones, empowering startups or creating a friendly environment for the youth to compete on a global platform. This platform, modesjisuccessfully deployed.

I always try to ask you a few easy questions, but I never get an answer. Before you leave, tell us how you relax; do you ever take leaves

I'm relaxing while I'm talking to you. Do what your mind tells you, do things according to your goals, and you will never feel tired. When you do things against your sanity, your ideology, and your beliefs, you get tired. You will not get tired if you work according to your beliefs without compromise. That's why I never get tired.

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