Frankly Speaking, Ten questions we would ask the Prime Minister
For the first time ever, a sitting Prime Minister appeared on a private news channel for an interview when Narendra Modi was interviewed by Arnab Goswami on Times Now. The interview broke twitter records and generated discussions on topics ranging from India’s farmer crisis to foreign policies. But frankly speaking, here are ten questions Arnab avoided that we would have asked if we were interviewing Modi.
- Arnab ji touched this topic but we would like to question you further. The price of crude oil for India decreased from $106 per barrel in July 2014 to $26 in January 2016 —a 75% drop over 15 months. Even though India primarily imports oil, petrol and diesel prices across the country have not dropped. Why?
- While other BJP leaders have said that Article 377 should remain, you have never disclosed your views on the matter. You condemned the Orlando shooting victims on Twitter but what about LGBT people in India? Don’t you think Article 377 should be abolished?
- “Congress is giving nation to foreigners. Most parties opposed FDI but due to sword of CBI, some didn’t vote & Cong won through back door!” – Narendra Modi on FDI, 5 December 2012
But in your tenure as PM, defence and civil aviation have been opened to 100% FDI under the government approval route (the FDI limit was 49% in airlines during UPA govt). Other sectors (animal husbandry, broadcasting carriage services) have been allowed 100% (or near 100%) FDI with government approval or through the automatic approval route.
What made you take an opportunistic U-turn on the issue of FDI having criticised the Congress government for the same?
- “Snake in someone else’s pit. You flourished with Shiv Sena’s support till now; traitor; you forgot our favours.”
– The Shiv Sena on Narendra Modi in 2016
What are your thoughts on the present Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra? Do you think you have failed to forge a fruitful relationship with the Sena?
- How do you react to the CAG report slamming the Gujarat government for financial mismanagement? The report claims that around 1500 crore rupees have benefited certain companies including Reliance petroleum, Essar and Adani group.
- What is your position on Article 370? Why have you remained silent on this issue? Is the reason for your silence a sign of compromise to form an alliance in Jammu and Kashmir?
- What is your reaction to the incidents of communal violence in India, especially targeting religious minorities during your tenure? Global media organisations like The New York Times have raised questions over this?
- Why did you refuse to meet Eknath Khadse?
Former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse resigned from his post following allegations of corruption. He took an appointment to meet you but was refused.
- VHP leader Praveen Togadia has said that the rise of Muslim population in India is a cause of worry. Do you think your close association with organisations like the RSS could become a political hindrance?
- After 12 years of opposing the GST bill as Gujarat Chief Minister, why is the government now actively looking to enact the GST bill?
Over to you Prime Minister.
Story by Nadeem Ahmed and Prajwal Bhat, reporters at The Manipal Journal.
All views expressed are personal.