Interviews
Naxals try to stop development but we continue to work for it
, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh  - Economic Times
The big fight in Bastar is building roads, bridges, schools. Building a road in Bastar is like fighting a war. When I go to Sukma I salute the soil. I place it on my head. This is where recently 11 jawans were martyred for the sake of good roads. The Naxals are trying their best to stop development and we are pushing for it. The Naxals fear this because they know people will shun them completely for development.
‘Bihar alliance very unstable … don’t know why Nitish is doing what he is doing, but it’s not natural’
, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister  - Times of India
He is misquoting facts. The company in question was registered as a shell company by (former central government minister and RJD leader) Prem Chand Gupta. IRCTC was given the bid after norms were changed and the person who got the contract got a land deal done in lieu of the railway contract.
Troubling That Most Citizens Find Net Transactions Costlier
, N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister Andhra Pradesh  - Times of India
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is perturbed that majority of Indians con sider digital transactions pricier than those done in physical currency, defeating the very objective of one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's biggest initiatives.Naidu, who's Telugu Desam Party is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, heads the chief ministers' committee on digital payments.
Corruption-free rule, decisive leadership: Hallmarks of Modi govt's three years
, Venkaiah Naidu  - Economic Times
With a transformational and corruption-free government at the helm, accompanied by a sea change in attitudes and behaviour of people, a new, vibrant and aspirational India is on the rise, thanks to several pioneering and game-changing initiatives taken by the NDA regime since it assumed office three years ago.
India should have its own policy on Afghanistan
, Hamid Karzai, Former Afghan president  - Hindu
For years, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has been outspoken in his criticism of U.S. action in the war on terror. But in the aftermath of American forces dropping a massive 22,000-tonne ‘MOAB’ — its biggest non-nuclear bomb — in the country on April 13, he has criticised the Ashraf Ghani government too, the first time he has been this vocally critical of his successor.
No ban, but we don’t see liquor as a source of state revenue
, Trivendra Singh Rawat  - Economic Times
Besides pradhan mantriji, I met several union ministers after becoming CM. They want to make their contribution to develop Devbhoomi (as Uttarakhand is referred to). Uttarakhand has already got three big projects — all weather road network project along Chardham, Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail project, and an international airport at Jolly Grant.
I sought a meeting with the PM on Kashmir, there has been no response
, Yashwant Sinha  - Indian Express
It was not a delegation, just a group of concerned citizens. There were five of us. Our first visit took place in the third week of October and we met a lot of people in Srinagar during three days. Then, in the second week of December, we went back to Kashmir.
Jairam Ramesh's facts not in order, argument on the basis of 'political convenience'
, Gautam Adani  - Economic Times
Billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, recently targetted by Congress leaders, told ET there's much more politics than logic behind the Nehru-Gandhi family-led party's critique of him. Adani, in a rare media interaction, also said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh's facts are not in order, and the former minister tends to argue on the basis of "political convenience".
'India is now the most heavily hyped emerging economy'
, Ruchir Sharma, Head, Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley  - Times of India
Ruchir Sharma, Head of Emerging Markets at Morgan Stanley, chats with presidents as well as villagers to discern the economic future of nations. His 2012 book Breakout Nations became a runaway international bestseller, and he offers an updated analysis in his new book The Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World. 
Running buses on electricity will reduce fares by half
, Nitin Gadkari  - Economic Times
Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has an ambitious plan to operate all state-run buses on electricity. He said the move will not only reduce pollution but also help cut fares by 50%.
'I believe in performance, not dressing up'
, Manohar Parrikar  - Indian Express
No. The word ‘middleman’ may be misunderstood. I would say commission agent, people who make deals for money. These people, through money or through other methods, try to influence decisions. I had heard a lot about them before coming here. Defence was new to me… It took months to gather information on how things are done here.
Public-private partnership is way forward for urbanisation of India
, Venkaiah Naidu  - Indian Express
Government is a continuation. These schemes are very popular and well accepted. Nobody can come tomorrow and say that there won’t be smart cities. Under our federal system, the Government of India formulates the schemes, funds it, and monitors it. Execution and land lie with the state and the final supervision with the urban local body...
‘BJP will win UP … Ram mandir not poll issue … caste quotas stay … Nitish will find JD(U)-mukt Bharat soon’
, Keshav Prasad Maurya, Uttar Pradesh's BJP president  - Times of India
Assam’s victory is historical – and we expected it. We are confident that this will have an effect on UP’s polls too – BJP will repeat this victory in Uttar Pradesh. Congress’s non-performance has got them this result in Assam. People have now voted for development. We have also created history by opening our account in Kerala.
Our spread is now from Kutch to Kamrup
, Amit Shah  - Times of India
The results are a personal boost for BJP chief Amit Shah, and have repaired his reputation as a shrewd tactician. Shah scripted BJP's sweep of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls and led BJP to a string of electoral successes in Maharashtra, Haryana, J&K and Jharkhand. But the scorecard was stained by debacles in Delhi and Bihar.
Suresh Prabhu
, Big-bang reforms in 6-7 months  - Times of India
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said big-bang reforms, including restructuring of the Railway Board, will happen in 6-7 months. In an interview to Mahendra Singh, he said questions were being raised about the pace of project implementation because he was focusing on implementation unlike his predecessors who just made announcements.
We need healthier PSU banks; wait for a few days
, Arun Jaitley  - Business Standard
Moving away from the “policy paralysis” in the past few years of the preceding United Progressive Alliance government, Jaitley claimed the NDA had plucked low-hanging fruit such as opening up of foreign direct investment, allowing telecom spectrum trading and tweaking the mining and minerals regulatory law to put the economy back on track.
When was the last time telcos did not shed tears on spectrum price?
, Ravi Shankar Prasad  - Financial Express
As the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government completes two years in office, communications & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad feels that the contours of Digital India are in place. Tele-density at 82.93% and rural tele-density at 50.60% are impressive. Operators have started rolling out 4G services. State-owned BSNL is inching towards a turnaround, posting its first operating profit after around five years.
I can protect the sugar mills but not give them the freedom to loot
, Ram Vilas Paswan  - Business Standard
Ram Vilas Paswan is one of the most experienced ministers in the Narendra Modi government. As the government moves towards a regime of better-targeted subsidies, Paswan, as in-charge of food and consumer affairs, is playing a crucial role in reforming the decades-old public distribution system. In an interview with Sanjeeb Mukherjee, the eight-time Lok Sabha MP says he would ensure that no one in the country dies of starvation, no matter how severe the drought is.
Both DMK and AIADMK are corrupt; Tamils yearning for a leader like Narendra Modi
, Prakash Javadekar  - Economic Times
Though three major partners — DMDK, PMK, MDMK — have abandoned BJP since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party's election incharge for the state, Prakash Javadekar, remains unfazed. In an interview to ET, he slams the leading Dravidian parties and claims that BJP is very much in the contest.
At 88, a master politician
, LK Advani  - Indian Express
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to put him to pasture, L K Advani, even at the age of 88, remains a consummate politician. Recently, Advani celebrated his wedding anniversary and claimed it would be an apolitical affair, so unlike his birthday celebration, he wouldn’t invite ministers or journalists.
Uday to absorb coal cess impact
, Piyush Goyal, Power Minister  - Economic Times
The corporate sector is 'delighted' by the Union Budget as it would generate demand, has corrected the inverted duty structure in items to make raw materials cheaper and given people a chance to declare concealed income, says Coal, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal.
Budget 2016 maintained a very fine balance between Bharat and India
, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance  - Economic Times
The NDA government is pro-poor and to be pro-poor it is a pro-markets government, says minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha outlining the nuances of the Budget. In an interview with Deepshikha Sikarwar& Vinay Pandey, he says there is room on the monetary side now because of the Budget measures.
Ram temple will become a reality; Hindus will help Muslims build mosque if they want
, Subramanian Swamy  - Firstpost
Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Subramanian Swamy is confident of a positive verdict from the Supreme Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi case and is hopeful that the construction of Ram Mandir would begin in Ayodhya by year-end.
The man who sang to live
, Abdul Rashid Khan  - Indian Express
Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan performed till his last breath. He woke up in the early hours of Thursday, had his morning tea at his residence located inside Kolkata’s 200-year-old ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), and began his riyaaz. The notes, however, were interrupted by bouts of breathlessness.
Power sector stress is just short term
, Piyush Goyal, Power Minister  - Economic Times
The stress in the power sector will continue in the short term since the reforms initiated by the government aim at long-term solutions and not a quick-fix. But the power ministry is pushing states to sign power purchase agreements to give relief to generators, power minister Piyush Goyal tells ET in an interview.
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