In hindsight, all will regret scrapping of electoral bonds: PM | India News

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said people would regret the abolition of the electoral bond scheme, and ruled out changes in the Constitution should his govt get another term.
In an interview to news agency ANI, PM said while there was scope for improvement in the electoral bonds scheme, it represented an honest attempt to improve transparency in campaign finance.“Everyone will regret it when there is honest reflection,” he said, on scrapping of the scheme as he cautioned that the country has been “pushed towards black money”.
He said the positive feature of the EB scheme was that people would have at least some idea about where parties were getting their funds from. “You are getting a trail of which company gave, how it gave, where it gave.”
He attacked the opposition for spreading “lies” about the bonds. He also scotched the charge about the Enforcement Directorate launching investigations to coerce businesspersons to make contributions to BJP, by saying that if that were the case then opposition would have got no money through bonds. “Will the ED raid and do the work of donating to the opposition? Will BJP do this?”

Hitting out at opposition quarters which say a third straight mandate for him would mean significant changes in the Constitution, Modi said: “I don’t take decisions to scare or run over anyone, I take decisions for the wholesome development of the nation”.
Saying he did the right things in the decade he has been in office, PM said, “yet there is so much I need to do … that is why I say this is a trailer.”
The interview saw the PM hitting back at the opposition on misuse of central agencies, while going on the offensive on Congress staying away from the Pran Pratistha of Ram Mandir, and on the “attack on Sanatan” by constituents of INDIA bloc.
On Ram Mandir, he said that in not attending the consecration ceremony at Ayodhya in January, the current leadership of Congress had only picked up from where the first PM Jawaharlal Nehru left off when he refused to attend the ceremony to mark the restoration of Somnath Mandir which had been destroyed by invaders.
On the alleged misuse of central agencies and opposition leaders being jailed, he shot back by emphasising that it is only a handful of them who have been arrested. He also pointed out that his close colleague, Union home minister Amit Shah, was put in jail when was serving as home minister in the Modi-led Gujarat govt.
The PM said that opposition leaders fearful of being arrested are actually scared because they were aware of misdeeds. “There is fear of sin (paap ka dar hai). What fear does an honest person have? They had put my home minister in jail when I was CM.”
On an equally forceful note, he reiterated that a mere 2% of the cases being investigated by the ED concern politicians. He also suggested that the laws opposition has been speaking against were all enacted under previous govts.
On the foreign policy front, he said his ‘Neighbourhood First policy’ had worked well and the problem with ties with neighbours like Pakistan, China and Maldives, had to do with their internal politics and policies.
Responding to the criticism that he had personalised diplomacy, Modi said results suffer if “diplomacy is stuck in protocol… The power of diplomacy is also there in the informal.” While commenting on the role of personal relations, he emphasised the role of “his friendships” in getting the Saudi King Mohammad bin Salman and President Joe Biden together during the G20 summit in Delhi. Relations between the US President and the Saudi royal were strained over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Despite the setback after the Hamas attack on Israel, India continues to be confident on India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), he said. “We have worked on the IMEC, which is going to be a big game changer,” he said in his first remarks on the matter since the Gaza conflict broke out. IMEC, which is seen as a highpoint of India’s G20 presidency, is also part of BJP’s manifesto.
On allegations by the opposition that PM Modi doesn’t appreciate diversity, he said, “I don’t understand that a person who goes to the UN and for the first time praises the oldest language of the world, Tamil…on what basis you are accusing that person.” On the contrary, it is the opposition which has been making chauvinistic attacks by making “fun of us calling us Panipuri wallahs”, he said.

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