The latest exclusive interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to news agency ANI trended on social media on Saturday night. Speaking to the news agency, Modi spoke about the importance of women empowerment adding that no country ‘can progress if its women are not equal partners in the development process.’
Highlighting the performance of his government’s four year in power, Modi said, “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, was among the first programmes that this government launched aimed at addressing the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio and educating the girl child. ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ has led to significant improvement in the Child Sex Ratio in various parts of India. It has taken the shape of a vibrant mass movement that is changing mindsets all over.”
Speaking about his pet Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, cleanliness drive, the prime minister said, “Construction of toilets in million sunder Swachh Bharat Abhiyan both in rural and semi-urban areas augments women safety and security. Separate toilets for girls constructed in all government schools in mission mode will help reduce dropout of girl students.”
Modi used the interview to repeat what he’s been claiming as his government’s success in the last four years. Most of his replies were repetition of what he’s been stating in various election rallies. The content of his interview also sounded repetitive since he had talked about them in the parliament during the no confidence debate recently.
For example, he once again spoke about Ujjwala scheme while stating that ‘under the Ujjwala Scheme, free LPG connections have revolutionised the lives of poor women.”
He also went on to explain his vision for Jan Dhan Yojana adding that more than 16 crore accounts of women had been opened.
Modi, who’s known for not entertaining two-way conversation and not held a single press conference in the last four years, chose to made himself available at a time when there’s a considerable spotlight on his government for a series of embarrassing issues. He’s been facing the heat for the financial fraud committed by Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi before they secretly left India.
Another issue that his government has found itself under a spot of bother for has been the discovery that he may have compromised India’s interests while striking the Rafale deal with France. The potential scam was first exposed by Janta Ka Reporter. (You can read here (Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3).
Since Modi’s interviews are a rare occasion, it was a missed opportunity for the ANI to not grill the prime minister on these burning issues.