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#ModiOnZee: I don't represent India as Modi but as representative of 125 cr Indians

PM Modi on Friday appeared in his first interview after BJP swept the general assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal. 

#ModiOnZee: I don't represent India as Modi but as representative of 125 cr Indians

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on a range of issues including country's economy, demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax, foreign policy, and India's growing influence in the world in an exclusive interview with Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary on Friday.

In his first interview in 2018, PM Modi spoke on a host of issues. He discussed his vision and perspective on foreign policy and growth potential, world power among several other topics.

"The world wants to communicate directly with India", PM Modi said when asked how he sees India's status at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, Switzerland. He also spoke about India's relationships with the United States and Israel.

PM Modi's upcoming visit to WEF annual meet at Davos on January 23 is one of the prime highlights of the interview. 

Here are highlights from his speech:

- PM Modi started the interview by wishing the entire country a "Happy New Year".

-  Everyone knows what was happening in India through media before 2014. After 30 years a government with full mandate has come in India, something which has attracted the attention of the world and changed the nature of interaction

- They said my understanding was limited to Gujarat. I made it my strength. I did not follow protocol. I was a simple man with no baggage. I made friends the world over

- India's growth in economic reforms has been tremendous. The country's economic growth has gone up in the last few months

- The world wants to hear directly from the horse's mouth about India's policies, potential. World Economic Forum is world's biggest financial forum. Davos has become biggest congregation of economic world and I feel proud to present them the success story of 125 crore Indians

- India has emerged as a world superpower with its big market and demographic dividend. India is the centre of attraction and it is expected that the world wants to communicate with our country

- We have the mandate of world's largest democracy – 1.15 crore citizens. Now I am focusing on the citizens of our nations. I will strive my best to work towards the benefit of my country. My government will focus on taking right steps and not make any mistakes  

- India’s relations with many world leaders has deepened. Every time I stand beside world leaders like Putin or Trump, all I remember is that I am the representative of 1.15 crore citizens. They have given me the mandate to be here. We must also remember world is an interconnected entity and we cannot live in isolation

- India has been instrumental in bringing world’s attention to financial transparency. It was acknowledged by former United States President Barack Obama

- Good things should be appreciated and bad things should be denounced – that's the role of democracy

- In the age of 'Google guru', it's easy to find out accusations as well as other facts. We need to be proactive in today's world. Criticism is important in a democracy. However, we faced less criticism and more allegations. Issues like corruption and black money has been the topic of discussion for long

- During G20 meeting, we put forward various facts including financial and banking reforms. Today, the world is acknowledging it

- We should not be limited to few things but continue everything with a positive attitude, Modi said on new world order and PTM (Putin-Trump-Modi). We should connect with entire world, keeping in mind our values

- Lakhs of women would cook food on firewood. But today gas connection has reached so many homes. Government is providing insurance to poor families in 90 paise and over so far, over 90 crore families have availed it. LED bulbs have been installed across lakhs of homes across India. All this doesn't count as work?

- UPA did not address the issues of states. The central govt did not listen to us. We respect the federal structure. Hence, we were forced to take economic and monetary reforms. GST is the product of that. We have worked hard towards building the concept of one nation-one tax

- This is my conviction, the country doesn't vote for governments. It is up to us how we make our citizens empowered, women empowered and work towards ease of living 

- (On his recent assembly election campaigns and frequent foreign visits) I have campaigned across the country even when I was a Chief Minister. What's new in this? I have always travelled extensively. I've spent more than a day in at least 80% of India's districts

- I want my nation to utilize me to the fullest, squeeze the most out of me. I am ready to put in my full

- State's 80 to 100 top officers are acting as elections observers. How will the state function? Elections absorb massive manpower. Soldiers are on election-duty for 100-200 days in a year. Frequent elections divert energy and affect the country's federal fabric. State and central polls should be conducted simultaneously. We can't afford to spend our limited resources on this exercise

- Our idea is to create a planned election system. The polling could be held in a certain week across the country at one time. The idea has been backed by many leaders including former President Pranab Mukherjee

- The country has witnessed a growth of 70 lakh accounts of employees provident fund. The Mudra Scheme launched by the Centre has also been successful. The initiative of government e-market has empowered small-scale entrepreneurs across the country. It has not only helped in reducing government’s expenditure but also dismantled the monopoly of big entrepreneurs

- GEM yojana – an online portal has been launched in association with all states. Through this portal, a person from any background or any village or any part of the country will be able to post their product and start supplying directing to states

Catch the full interview at Saturday 8 pm on Zee News.