New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu exclusively spoke to NewsX on Wednesday and opined on BJP’s demonetisation move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s absenteeism in Parliament, state funding of elections and much more.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

NewsX: The big question is the whole adamance of the opposition wanting the Prime Minister to speak; will he speak?

Venkaiah Naidu: Please try to understand. From day one we have been saying the Prime Minister will definitely intervene, he will intervene in both the houses if necessary, there’s no problem on that account; because the parliamentary practices, procedures, rules, regulations, precedence are very clear from 1952 onwards. Government means ministry, ministry means concerned minister and even there’s a ruling, that any other minister also can respond. Here, we are not standing on rules alone. The Prime Minister who is the leader of the nation, he, on an important issue should also intervene when he can intervene; we have already conveyed it to them.

NewsX: Opposition’s point is also, why are you anti-voting because the numbers are on your side?

Venkaiah Naidu: Voting has already taken place. Voting has taken place and people have given their mandate.

NewsX: A lot of people have compared this decisive move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Indira Gandhi rather than NDA’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee. What do you make of the comparison with the Gandhi?

Venkaiah Naidu: See, first of all there cannot be a comparison like this. Indiraji is Indraji and this is pro-people’s decision. What Indiraji decided about the Emergency was an anti-democratic act, so there can’t be comparison. She took two decisions which made her popular; emergency made her unpopular — first one was bank nationalisation and the second one was abolition of the Privy Purses. These were the two decisions; she was hailed as if she was the messiah of the poor. The Communist Party went tom-tom-tomming for Indira ji because there was a split in the Congress party and so the Communist Party came to her rescue. Neither did bank nationalisation nor did Privy Purse abolition benefit the poor. But this move of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen as a great move to cleanse the system, bring the disparities to some level and third to provide an opportunity for the government to get additional money to spend for the poor people. That’s why people from different sections of society, they are all rallying behind Mr. Narendra Modi.


Watch the video for entire interview.