It’s day one of the 2017 India Today Conclave, Mumbai and among those who have addressed the gatheringare President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Devendra Fadnavis and Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well as Godrej chief Adi Godrej and HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh. Patym founder and CEO Vijay Sharma also spoke at the conclave.
Here are the India Today Conclave LIVE updates
08. 07 pm: EVMs stay in the charge of the District Magistrate and not the central government. If we would have done any tampering with the EVMs, then Congress wouldn’t have won in Punjab, it would be BJP in all the five states: Amit Shah
07. 50 pm: When asked about the lessons learnt from Bihar elections, Amit Shah said he “doesn’t look back, but forward”. He added that the party is gearing up for elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.
07. 52 pm: BJP rules over 58 per cent of the country’s population and we are looking forward for Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Odisha assembly elections: Amit Shah
07. 48 pm: Demonetisation was not aimed at electoral gains. The people of the country are in support of demonetisation and the verdict in five states that went to polls confirms this: Amit Shah
07. 40 pm: Our govt will not be any govt of discrimination.Now that we are going to form govt in UP, we will soon remove the BIMARU tag from Uttar Pradesh and the state will soon be in the development map: Amit Shah
07. 37 pm: BJP doesn’t believe in caste, gender based politics. The party only believes in the development of all. In this country only politics of performance will work: Amit Shah
5.15 pm: President Mukherjee also had this to say: “The Prime Minister derives authority from the people. What matters is how he/she exercises that power.”
5.10 pm: “Nehru made Parliament vibrant,” Pranab Mukherjee said, adding that “it won’t be wrong to say that Nehru was the architect of parliamentary system in India.” “Nehru discouraged hero worship, He stood for ‘inclusion and accommodation’,” India Today quoted President Mukherjee as saying at the India Today conclave.
Pranab adds: “Today India is one of the largest producer of food grains. This has been possible because of the efforts of subsequent Prime Ministers.”
5.00 pm: President Pranab Mukherjee is speaking at the conclave. “Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had biggest influence on my life, he says. He began his address with a disclaimer that he’s notorious for exceeding the time limit given to him for speaking at such events.
1.10 pm: Education transforms people and empowers them. “Someone from a slum can become a scientist. It empowers people,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar says at the conclave. He added that educational institutes lack research and that’s an area that needs focus.
12.45 pm: On freedom of expression, Naidu said: “Anyone taking law into their hands needs to condemned but we must also understand the sensitivities of this nation. If someone tries to hurt the sentiments there will be reaction. Therefore there needs to be some restraint.
“Except six or seven universities, everyone else is studying and wants to go ahead.”
12.40 pm: “”Modi means Making of Developed India” – that enthusiasm is there among the people,” Naidu says, adding that now there is less of red tape and more of red carpet. He also said: “My message to all working under me is my cooperation depends on your operations otherwise there will be separation.”
12.30 pm: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu is speaking about urban cities and the government’s plan to improve basic facilities. Naidu says PM Modi has asked him to ensure there is transparency in city governance. “People should know where their taxes are being spent, what is being planned,” Naidu said, referring to what the Prime Minister said.
There is a fear among political parties that “if you tax then people will axe”. Naidu says people must be ready to pay more if they want better facilities like 24×7 electricity and water.
“CITY means Civic Infrastructure To You, which most the cities have been lacking. Our government’s aim to revive that infrastructure”, Naidu says.
11.07 am: As far as demonetisation is concerned, there was no anger among the people claims Chouhan. He says it’s only the Congress that was making a noise about note bandi and there was no issue among the people. Fadnavis also claims no industrialist came up to him complaining about it. He adds that those who suffered about were those who praised it because it was for the benefit of the country.
11.05 am: Fadnavis on the Sena trouble. “Vajpayee is our inspiration. If Vajpayee could run a government with so many parties, I have just one. I can manage. When asked what he feels when he reads the Saamna, Fadnavis shot back: You read the Saamna, I don’t.”
11.00 am: Is India turning into a saffron state? What about federalism cooperation? Fadnavis says when we talk about politics we also talk about democracy. “When parties are wiped it out, its not done by other political parties but by the people.” “When one party sets standards, others have to match it or perish. Our politics is about vikaas or development,” he says.
10.55 am: We now shift to GST and here’s what Fadnavis had to say: “Think GST will be a success, but if there’s a political motive to derail it then I cannot say anything. But as of now it will roll out on July 1.” He adds: “In a competitive federalism, we are creating barriers that are not benefiting any state. Now we have a level playing field were everyone will benefit.”
10.55 am: “We are a border state, our sensitivities are different. We need to be treated differently because we are victims of skirmishes between the two countries. We get everything that we need from other states,” Mehbooba Mufti says when asked about governance in Jammu and Kashmir.
Mufti also invited people to come to Kashmir saying it is a safe state. “I would like to invite people to come and spend time with family, not just come and invest. Despite encounters, it is one of the safest states”.
10.51 am: Do BJP CMs have an advantage? Shivraj Singh Chouhan rejects the view. Chouhan says the Niti Aayog has is well structured to help finance states irrespective of who is in power in those states. He says various CMs are part of it and government schemes – Swachch Bharat or Smart Cities is decided based on the performance of the states.
10.50 am: Mehbooba Mufti also praised Modi’s governance skills saying the Prime Minister is trying to evolve India as a true federal structure, contrary to reports that he likes centralising power. “Modi comes from a grassroot level, he is trying to reform the country in a federal structure.”
10.45 am: Will Mehbooba Mufti revoke AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir? Mehbooba Mufti says democracy is about sharing. “Last year I felt we needed more security forces… at some point of time – six months or a year – if the situation improves, we need to think about revocation of AFSPA from parts and see if it works.” Mufti further said competition between states is a good thing and it should be about development not parties.
10. 40 am: Will Devendra Fadnavis move to the Union Cabinet? Here’s what he said: “Don’t think a CM has more power than a union minister. whatever role we get, we have an agenda of transformation. It’s not about what role we get. Right now I’m a CM, I have a huge agenda before me. In the next two three years I can transform Maharashtra. But I’m a true soldier of the party and whatever the party says, I’m a true soldier.”
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, dismissed the rumours, saying nobody is moving to Delhi. He says the PM along with CMs of the states are a Team India – taking India forward.
10.30 am: The opening session is with three chief ministers – Mehbooba Mufti, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Devendra Fadnavis, the chief minister of Maharashtra.
The event is happening for the first time in Mumbai, at the Grand Hyatt. The inaugural address was by India Today Group editor-in-chief Aroon Purie, who threw light on the past conclaves and the context of the 16th edition – “We are holding the Conclave in the shadow of demonetisation, Brexit and stunning results of elections in five states,” he said.