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Lok Sabha poll: Balakot not an election issue, BJP will surpass its 2014 tally, says Rajnath Singh

"We need a debate on Article 35 A. Jammu and Kashmir has suffered because of this. This is my personal opinion," said Rajnath Singh.

Lok Sabha poll: Balakot not an election issue, BJP will surpass its 2014 tally, says Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: Union Home Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh on Friday evening gave an exclusive interview to Zee News, speaking on the Anti-satellite missile test, Balakot strike, PM Narendra Modi, and the upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019.

Thank you for joining us. Do come again on Saturday (March 30) for election live updates.

Here are the updates from Wednesday (March 29):

* Our government is not idle on bringing Dawood Ibrahim to justice. USA and France are helping India on Masood Azhar: Rajnath Singh

* We are acting against those offenders who have fled the country. We are trying to extradite fugitives like Nirav Modi: Rajnath Singh

* Ayodhya issue is sub judice. But everyone wants Ram temple in Ayodhya. Even a majority of the Muslims want the Ram temple in Ayodhya: Rajnath Singh

* BJP will win more seats in 2019 than it won in 2014: Rajnath Singh

* I have never given any thought about Rahul Gandhi as an opposition leader: Rajnath Singh

* Our scheme is not a sop or dole. We have a target to double the income of farmers by 2022. Our scheme will help the farmer in increasing their income: Rajnath Singh

* Congress has once again tried to fool the poor people of the country: Rajnath Singh on Rahul Gandhi's proposed NYAY scheme 

* This is a hypothetical question: Rajnath Singh on BJP not getting a majority in 2019 Lok Sabha election and some other leader being chosen as the prime minister of India.

* I have not thought about my role when we come back to power. The party will decide what role I should play and I am ready to do it: Rajnath Singh

* I have one regret that more could have been done for our Central Paramilitary Forces. They are extremely brave and need work in very difficult circumstances: Rajnath Singh

* We need a debate on Article 35 A. Jammu and Kashmir has suffered because of this. This is my personal opinion: Rajnath Singh

* We formed the government in Jammu and Kashmir with Peoples Democratic Party in the interest of the state and the country. But unfortunately, it did not work out: Rajnath Singh

* The Kashmir issue is very old and chronic. It will take some time to resolve. But we are determined to ensure Kashmir's development for the welfare of its residents: Rajnath Singh

* Lal Krishna Advani-Murli Manohar Joshi era has not ended. They have contributed a lot in making the BJP strong. We have immense respect for them: Rajnath Singh

* I have achieved most of the targets working as Home Minister. We have successfully tackled the Naxal menace. Naxalism has been contained in 130 districts. The moral of our security forces have been strengthened. The situation will change for the better: Rajnath Singh

* BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh has no credibility. This alliance was formed with a negative mindset just to stop PM Modi. Such alliances do not work. This alliance is unnatural and will not work. It can break anytime and it will happen soon: Rajnath Singh

* People have more faith in PM Modi's leadership in 2019 as compared to 2014: Rajnath Singh

* I believe that the opposition should forget political difference when it is about the country. This is essential for a healthy democracy. We try for coordination with the opposition. There is a shortcoming in the opposition. Politics is not just for power, it is about the country: Rajnath Singh

* We should not politicise actions which make our country strong. We should congratulate the soldiers, scientists and the leadership. This is not for politics: Rajnath Singh

* We were a bit restless as our soldiers had been killed in Pulwama. But we were ready to act and there was no doubt that our forces will cross the Line of Control and target terror camps inside Pakistan. We prepared and thought about the pros and cons but the surgical strike was well planned and executed. I thank the Army, IAF and Indian Navy: Rajnath Singh

* Our forces did not attack Pakistani army and defence or its people. We attacked only the terror camps. The strike was carried out based on credible intelligence. While Pakistan is rattled due to the airstrike, there are some people here in India too have are not happy: Rajnath Singh

* Anti-satellite missile test has put India in a league of 4 nations with such a capability. India will not hesitate to conduct another surgical strike on terror camps inside Pakistan if there is another attack here: Rajnath Singh

* India has never attacked any country but if someone challenges us, then we will respond: Rajnath Singh

* Balakot is not an election agenda but the airstrikes show that the country is in safe hands and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will always act against terror. Pakistan will have to mend its ways and stop exporting terror. If Pakistan is not able to stop terror groups, then it can seek India's help in tackling these terrorists: Rajnath Singh

* I don't believe that people do not vote on the development agenda. People look at a leader and party which works for the development of the country and ensures safety and security: Rajnath Singh

* GDP growth rate has gone up. Our prestige in the eyes of other countries has increased. The people and weaker sections have benefitted from several developments schemes: Rajnath Singh

* The difference in 2014 and 2019 is that BJP will win more seats than the last election. People knew about Narendra Modi but they were not aware of his performance. Now they have seen how he works and performs. People want strong leadership: Rajnath Singh 

* Union Home Minister and BJP leader Rajnath Singh speaks to Zee News on Lok Sabha election and brand Modi

* With your vote, two important things will be done on April 11, 2019. There is 'Sun' & 'Son'. On that day, there will be 'sun'rise of Andhra Pradesh and 'son'set of corruption. For the 'sun'rise of Andhra Pradesh, there should be 'son'set. Your vote will ensure the double engine for the development of Andhra Pradesh - BJP govt in the state and BJP govt at the centre: PM Narendra Modi in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh

* Mutyala Papa, former MLA from Narsipatnam, joins TDP along with her husband Peda Babu and her followers, in presence of TDP president and Andhra CM N Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh's Amaravati.

* BJP's Sambit Patra files his nomination for Puri Lok Sabha Constituency, at District Collector and Magistrate's office in Puri.

* Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the citizens in the country were moving forward sans any fear as the 'chowkidar' has been 'alert.' He asked the people of Telangana to vote for a "new Bharat" where the people of the state will also benefit. In his first rally in Telangana post the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi said despite abuses and attacks against him, he has steadfastly moved ahead with his development agenda due to the 'blessings' of the people. The Prime Minister described CM K Chandrasekar Rao as the "face" of dynastic and appeasement politics.

* Hardik Patel won't be able to contest in the upcoming election.

Gujarat High court rejects Congress leader Hardik Patel's plea seeking suspension of his conviction in a rioting case of 2015 in Mehsana. As per the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Hardik Patel won't be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Election due to his conviction

* Addressing a rally, Amit Shah said, "We will bring NRC in Bengal and throw out all illegal immigrants." He also said that TMC stands for three T's -- Trinamool, Toll, Tax. He added that the party is "running government to help syndicates flourish in Bengal". He jibed, "On one hand you have Narendra Modi and on other 'Thugbandhan' leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav." The BJP chief added that "Narendra Modi has given befitting reply to China on Dokalam Issue and Pakistan for its terror tactics".

* The 2019 Lok Sabha election is very important for this nation but for West Bengal, it is important for its identity. It will decide if there'll be democracy here. The manner in which Mamata didi governed this state, they only worked towards destroying the culture of Bengal: Amit Shah in Alipurduar rally.

* Out of Rs 6,500 crore accumulated under District Mineral Fund, Odisha govt has only spent Rs 1,000 crore for the poor tribals: PM

* PM Kisan Yojana is providing financial assistance to the farmers. However, Odisha govt hasn't provided us with the list of eligible farmers: PM Modi

* Odisha government refused to be part of Ayushman Yojana and thus deprived the poor of their right for quality healthcare: PM

* In India, 1.5 lakh wellness centres are being built, mothers and infants are being vaccinated. However, people of Odisha aren't able to make the most of them: PM Modi

* Odisha is rich in natural resources but people are poor. This situation proves that Congress and BJD have failed to develop Odisha: PM

* Can those who are involved in Chit fund scam make Odisha strong? Can those who are working with mining mafia and deprived tribals of their rights and resources make Odisha strong, asks PM in Odisha.

* This is the right time to punish the Congress and BJD who were given ample time in Odisha to develop the region. However, they have failed miserably: PM Modi

* It's about time to give an apt answer to people who are insulting the capabilities of our scientists and the armed forces: PM

* Odisha became a witness of a historic moment that showed the world India's capability. India can now keep an eye in the space, too: PM

* To provide employment to the youth and women, Self Help Groups are being empowered. Under MUDRA Yojana, they are being given collateral free loans: PM Modi

* Five years ago, MSP was available for only 10 forest produces. It's been now increased to 50: PM Modi

* It's because of unflinching support of people that I was able to carry out welfare work for the people of the country: PM

*As a Pradhan Sevak, I've left no stone unturned in serving the people of the country: PM Modi

* PM Modi addressing a mega rally at Odisha's Koraput.

* Actor-turned-political Urmila Matondkar, who recently joined the Congress party, will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North parliamentary constituency.

* Ram Shankar Katheria, the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate for Etawah Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, stoked controversy after threatening to break fingers raised against the party or its members. “Today our government is in the state and centre, so now if anyone raises a finger at us, that finger will be broken,” said Katheria rally in Etawah on Thursday.

* Opposition's anti-BJP 'grand alliance' failed to take the desired shape as Congress president Rahul Gandhi chose not to "override" the sentiments of state leaders who did not favour the move, party veteran and thrice Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said. He, however, rubbished the BJP's allegation of the Congress being a "dynastic" party, insisting it was the "most democratic" in the country.

* BJP national president Amit Shah will visit West Bengal today and hold a public meeting at Alipurduar Parade ground.

* Shah will also address a rally at Bihar's Aurangabad.

* Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to sound the poll bugle in Haryana from today by addressing a rally at Jagadhri in Yamunanagar.

* Uttar Pradesh East Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is scheduled to visit Ayodhya and hold a roadshow today.

* The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address public rallies at Mahbubnagar in Telangana and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.

* PM Modi will visit Odisha for poll campaigning and address a mega public rally. He is also scheduled to address a rally at Jeypore in Koraput district.