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India’s power grew due to my foreign visits, says PM Narendra Modi

He also maintained that India is getting oil and gas at cheaper rates as a result of negotiations done by his government, and, similarly, Indian nationals held in jails abroad have been freed.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya , Abhishek Angad | Kolkata, Ranchi |
April 25, 2019 1:00:06 am
Narendra Modi, PM Modi, Modi BJP, BJP Modi, modi foreign trips, modi bilateral ties, elections, lok sabha elections 2019, indian express PM Narendra Modi and Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das in Lohardaga Wednesday. (PTI)

Taking on the Opposition for ridiculing his frequent foreign trips, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday claimed that his visits have strengthened India’s image in the international arena, and that the world today “stands with us”. He also maintained that India is getting oil and gas at cheaper rates as a result of negotiations done by his government, and, similarly, Indian nationals held in jails abroad have been freed.

Modi spoke at rallies in West Bengal’s Bolpur and Ranaghat; both constituencies go to the polls on April 29.

READ | BJP denies PM Modi presser reports, Congress says ‘tum se na ho payega’ 

In Ranaghat, in an apparent jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has said her party — the TMC — will play a key role in government formation after the polls, Modi said even leaders whose parties are contesting 25-30 seats want to become the Prime Minister. “Sab ghungroo baandhke taiyar ho gaye (everybody has put on ghungroo to put up a performance),” he said. Indicating that Opposition leaders have come together in their lust for power, he said: “There are so many faces (on Opposition platform), but tell me which face can end terrorism. Which (of these) face can hit terrorists in Pakistan?”

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Earlier in the day, addressing a rally in Lohardaga constituency of Jharkhand, Modi slammed opposition parties for their claim that EVMs were manipulated to allegedly favour the BJP, and called it the result of a realisation that the country is looking at another round of Modi government.

READ | India lagging behind, thanks to Modi’s foreign trips: Akhilesh Yadav

At Bolpur, Modi said: “I read somewhere that Didi (Mamata Banerjee) said that the chaiwala (referring to himself) has only gone on foreign trips in the last five years. But when we see India’s power in the world today, it is because during these trips the voice of 130 crore Indians reached other countries.

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“Remember: five years ago, we faced difficulties in garnering support of the international community on any issue. Today the world stands with us. This is the effect of India’s increasing power. After Modi came to power, we held talks with countries who earlier gave us expensive gas and oil — we were legally bound to accept the expensive oil and gas due to legal bindings put up by previous governments. Prices were dropped eventually.”

In an apparent reference to extradition proceedings against fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, Modi said, “It is the effect of India’s growing power that corrupt people were arrested and brought to India. Many countries had made agreement with India that if anyone keeps money in banks in these countries, they will give us real-time information. No one will be able to keep black money in foreign banks (any longer).”

It is the also effect of India’s increasing global power that Saudi Arabia released more than 800 Indian prisoners, he said. Referring to the award given to him by the UAE recently, Modi said, “What a storm it kicked up! They (opposition parties) asked: elections are here how can you give an award to Modi? During the same time, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia came here. I told him that the Indian middle class is growing and financial well-being of Muslims are increasing. I asked him to increase the quota for Haj. He increased it by 2 lakh.

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“I told him that the month of Ramzan is coming, and there are more than 800 prisoners in (Saudi) jails. Within 12 hours he took a decision — prisoners were released, but the news was brushed under the carpet. When Modi got an award, they (Opposition) all abused him.”

In Lohardaga, Modi said, “Like a child making excuses to justify his under-performance in examination, opposition parties have started directing their anger on the EVMs and the voting process. The response in the first three phases have left the Opposition with no option but to accept defeat.”

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First published on: 25-04-2019 at 01:00:06 am

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