Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Indian citizenship to those facing ill-treatment in their home countries will ensure a better tomorrow for them. These were his first remarks on the issue after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims prone to religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, was cleared by the Union cabinet Wednesday.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, PM Modi said, “Hundreds of people from the neighbouring countries, who are facing persecution in these countries, those who have faith in Mother India, with the road open for Indian citizenship, their better future will be ensured.” The Bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament next week.
On Ayodhya verdict
Modi also said all the apprehensions expressed ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute were proved wrong after the judgment was pronounced. “The Ram Janmabhoomi verdict proved that we can have a better tomorrow. We cannot be chained by the past. People were casting aspersions that the verdict will cause unrest in the country, but the people of the country proved them wrong,” he said.
On abrogation of J&K’s special status
Referring to the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, the prime minister said the apparent politically difficult decision has raised new hopes of development for the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
On preferring governance over government
He added that he was always against the government’s interference in people’s lives and hence batted for minimum government and maximum governance. “The government must exit people’s lives as soon as possible. For a better tomorrow, the government needs to work in the core areas. Good governance will provide a better future to the people of the country,” Modi said.
On providing clean water
He said his government was working towards providing clean water to 15 crore houses. “Today, India, with full confidence, is working towards turning itself into a USD 5 trillion economy. It is directly linked with the income of the middle class and a better tomorrow,” Modi said.
On bank mergers
Giving assurance to bankers to work without any fear, Modi said their “genuine” business decisions will not be questioned. “Earlier, when banks were nationalised, it was celebrated with fanfare, newspapers wrote articles about it. Our government showed the courage to merge banks and helped in the recapitalisation. Before any action is taken, a scrutiny by a serving finance or banking expert will be conducted. A guideline in this regard will be issued shortly. There is pressure on the banking sector and we will work to improve it,” Modi added.
Criticising the previous governments for promises that they could not keep, he said his government was focussed on performance. “Unlike the previous governments, we are not practising the politics of promises. Instead, we are taking the country towards the politics of performance. We have set goals for ourselves and promoted this culture of performance,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)