The BJP and the Opposition traded barbs on September 3 over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in an interview to PTIahead of the G20 summit, with the ruling party leaders hailing his vision for the country and INDIA bloc parties raising questions on "rising" prices and unemployment.
In the interview, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas' model can be the guiding principle for the welfare of a world shifting from a GDP-centric approach to a human-centric one.
Irrespective of the size of the GDP, every voice matters, Mr. Modi told PTI in an exclusive interview conducted late last week at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence.
Prime Minister Modi said that India's economic growth is a natural by-product of his nine-year-old government's political stability, as he expressed optimism that it will be a developed nation by 2047 with "corruption, casteism and communalism" having no place in our national life.
His remarks evoked contrasting reactions from the ruling party and opposition leaders.
"There is no doubt in anyone's mind that India under PM Modi over the last nine years and India's G20 presidency are big milestones in the country's rise on the global stage," Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Prime Minister Modi's 'India soon to be in top three world economies' remark.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said PM Modi has transformed the talent pool to the advantage of a rising nation of 140 crore people.
Reacting to Mr. Modi's remark that 'India will be a developed nation by 2047', BJP leader Anil Antony, who had switched from the Congress, said much more has happened in India in the last nine years than in 67 years since Independence.
Leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), however, hit out at the prime minister over his remarks and questioned the government's track record in reining in unemployment and prices of essential commodities.
Attacking the Prime Minister, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan said roads are being beautified in view of the upcoming G20 Summit but India's youth "is asking about employment." "People want their answers on scams and inflation," she said.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh claimed that under PM Modi, unemployment reached its highest level in 42 years and prices of fuel and medicines increased considerably.
Congress leader Shobha Oza alleged that under the current government, the lives of common people have been made difficult due to inflation and unemployment.
"There have been atrocities on women, Dalits and tribals," she alleged.
On Mr. Modi's remarks about his government providing political stability, DMK leader TKS Elangovan said there is no political stability and equanimity in this country at present.
RJD MP and spokesperson Manoj Jha took a swipe at the BJP over Prime Minister Modi's remarks in the interview about tackling the menace of fake news, saying the "BJP will collapse like a pack of cards if fake news is reined in".
Jammu and Kashmir Congress Committee president Vikar Rasool claimed that there has not been any positive change in the country under the BJP and only inflation and unemployment have risen.
However, BJP leaders hailed the prime minister for his visionary leadership.
"PM Modi works with a vision for the next 25-50 years. When India will complete 100 years of its independence in 2047, India will be a developed and self-reliant country," BJP MP Subrat Pathak said.
BJP leader Jaiveer Shergill said PM Modi's report card is "solid". "He has laid the vision for the next 40-50 years," he added.
In the interview, Prime Minister Modi said his government's decision to host G-20 events across the country is an investment in capacity-building among people, cities and institutions.
He also took a jibe at previous governments, saying they lacked confidence in people's abilities to hold mega events outside the capital, in smaller places.
Mr. Modi said he had always had a great belief in people as he cited his organisational background to assert that he learnt a lot from many experiences during that phase of his life.
"Many positive impacts are coming out of India's G20 Presidency. Some of them are very close to my heart," Modi said in the 80-minute interview, focused on G20 and related issues, with three senior staff of PTI including Editor-in-Chief Vijay Joshi.
Mr. Modi said that while it is true G20 is an influential grouping in terms of its combined economic might, a GDP-centric view of the world is now changing to a human-centric one, and just as a new world order was seen after World War 2, a new world order is taking shape post-Covid.
The shift to a human-centric approach has begun globally and we are playing the role of a catalyst. India's G20 Presidency has also sowed the seeds of confidence in the countries of the so-called Third World, he said.