Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 18 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday hit out at Rahul Gandhi stating that contrary to allegation, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) had not curtailed anybody's voice in the country as was the case during the 1975 Emergency.
Singh's remarks came at a Holi Milan event organized by Lucknow Udyog Vyapar Mandal in his Lok Sabha constituency Lucknow.
The Defence Minister said, "If anyone thinks that India's democracy is in danger, then it should be discussed with the parliamentarians of the country. There is no democracy like India anywhere in the world. BJP is not stopping anyone's voice. The voice was stopped in 1975. The voice was stopped by imposing an emergency.""Our government has not stopped anyone's voice. Some people deliberately try to defame the country on the international stage. I have discussed this here because the people of the business community should be aware. They understand the country's economy," he added.
Addressing business community, the Defence Minister said, "There is no need to tell what kind of crisis both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are facing. Nowadays there is talk that even in Pakistan there are talks that they too should have a Prime Minister like Modiji. People in Pakistan are also saying that Pakistan's Prime Minister should be like Modiji as our country is progressing fast. It hurts when our country is progressing and India's reputation is on the rise in the world and some people are trying to hurt India's reputation.""One person who had gone abroad asked people in Europe and America why are you sitting quietly when India's democracy is in danger" Singh said in an apparent reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks in London.
Stating that India is a country of festivals, Singh said, "We are a festive people. Every fortnight there is a festival which infuses new energy. The festivals celebrated here promote mutual affection and social harmony. It inspires us to live lovingly and in harmony."The defence minister also highlighted BJP's big win in the North East.
He said, "We got excellent success in the elections in three states of North East India. While we were able to form a majority government again in Tripura, BJP is playing the role of an ally in the coalition government in Nagaland and Meghalaya."Rajnath Singh also mentioned the economic progress made in Uttar Pradesh.
He said, "Today, everywhere there is talk of multiple investments coming in Uttar Pradesh. We know the UP government has received Rs 35 lakh crore investment proposals from the Global Investors Summit. Also, Ease of doing business has improved in the state," he said.
"I am among the businessmen brothers, so I want to say that our government is also committed to the development of all of you. Our government believes that it is our responsibility to protect the small and medium traders and their interests from the point of view of business in this country and state," he added.
Talking about MSME he said, "You all know that relief has been given to the middle class and small businessmen in this budget. Similarly, it has been decided to give a one per cent interest rebate on loans for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and small traders and to give tax relief to MSMEs with a turnover of three crore rupees."The minister further stated that today a big eco-system of start-ups has been prepared in India.He said, "India has become a start-up hub with 90,000 startups and 105 unicorn companies.""Today a record-breaking foreign investment is happening in India. You must have read in the newspaper that Apple's new factory is coming up in Karnataka. Earlier Apple used to do this work in China, now it will do it in India," he added.
The defence also pointed out the economic progress in the country.
He said, "Now NSSO has released data related to India's per capita income, which shows that the average income of Indians has almost doubled from 2014-15 to 2022-23. The average annual income of a common Indian in the year 2014-15 was Rs 86,647, which has increased to Rs one lakh seventy-two thousand in 2022-23.""The economy of any country depends on how the peace system is there and how strong the banking system is. A good banking system is a backbone for the strength of the country's economy," he added.
Launching an attack on the opposition, he said, "There was a time when crony capitalism got such a boost that people were given loans worth crores just by making a phone call. Later it became difficult to recover those loans Modiji stopped that type of 'phone banking'." (ANI)