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Exclusive Interview Live Updates: PM Modi defends demonetisation, says no proof of job losses

After filing his nomination for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi answered questions on topics ranging from demonetisation to job crisis to Indian economy during an exclusive interview with India Today TV and Aaj Tak.

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Exclusive Interview Live Updates: PM Modi defends demonetisation, says no proof of job losses
PM Modi exclusive interview with India Today TV and Aaj Tak

In an explosive interview with India Today, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today for the first time spoke at length about highly-debated topics including demonetisation, unemployment and a slowing economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to agree there is a job crisis in the country and said no one has the figures to prove that demonetisation had caused massive unemployment. Prime Minister Modi defended the decision to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies saying it was an attack on black money in the country. He also said that demonetisation had changed the mindset of the nation on black money. The prime minister also emphasised that the tax base has doubled thanks to demonetisation as people started declaring their income instead of hiding.

PM Modi on Friday filed his nomination papers to contest the Lok Sabha Election 2019 from Varanasi parliamentary constituency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the District Collectorate's office to file his nomination papers from the temple town as it votes in phase 4 of the Lok Sabha Election 2019 on May 10. The Prime Minister met top BJP leaders and NDA allies before filing his papers.

Also Read:Lok Sabha Election 2019: Poll dates, full schedule, voting FAQs, election results, constituencies' details

Here are all the live updates on the Lok Sabha Election 2019.

8:14pm: "Incomes can be doubled by lowering input costs, hiking MSP, giving solar panels, exploring new avenues like honey and adding value. Indian corporates are not making even 1% investment in agriculture, I have told them they must pitch in," PM Modi said over doubling farmers' income.

8:08pm: "I believe judiciary should be independent. When I was Gujarat CM, I faced SIT investigation without any fuss. I was interrogated for 9 hours. It was possible because I respect institutions. To honour the institution is the responsibility of all the citizens, politicians, and the government," PM Modi said about the allgations of national institutions being undermined.

8:01pm: "There is scope for improvement in everything. Nothing is final, change is constant, otherwise the world wouldn't last this long," PM Modi in on the question of whether he would have changed anything in the implementation of demonetisation.

7:55pm: "Those who claim there was job loss due to demonetisation don't have stats to back that. People are looking for excuses to discredit the huge decision of demonetisation," said PM Modi.

7:51pm: PM Narendra Modi exclaimed that he is satisfied with the economic management of his government.

7:50pm: "There is a realisation that days of black money have ended, we have to do business honestly. Demonetisation has stemmed the flow of black money and this has changed the mindset of the citizens. Some of the credit for low inflation goes to demonetisation," says PM Modi.

7:49pm: "Demonetisation wasn't done for elections. Our opponents in Uttar Pradesh fought on the issue of demonetisation but the people of UP gave a slap on their faces that now they don't even talk about it. They are still crying about it because they have lost a lot. There were photographs of money being taken out from inside cots, jute bags kept in the garages of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Rs 1.30 cr was seized. Benami properties worth Rs 50,000 cr were seized. More than 3 lakh shell companies have been shut down. Tax collections have increased," said PM Modi.

7:45pm: Compared to 2014, when inflation made headlines, it is no longer being discussed, PM Modi said.

7:38pm: "Assessing job numbers is a big challenge in front of the government. We'll have to use realtime information technology, we are working on it. We might bring a mechanism of global standards within a year or two," says PM Modi.

7:35pm: Talking to India Today TV, PM Narendra Modi said that 1.25 crore jobs have been created every year. The Prime Minister said, "The CII and Nasscom reports have showed there has been an increase in job creation. EPFO figures show almost 1.25 crore jobs have been added every year. 4.5 crore people got bank loans for the first time under Mudra Yojana. If the roads are being constructed, are jobs not being created?"

7:18pm: "For the first three phases, the focus of Opposition's absues was me. But now they are targeting EVMs," PM Narendra Modi said

7:15pm: "I don't have rivals, I have competitors." PM Narendra Modi talks to India Today and Aaj Tak in an exclusive interview.

6:20pm: Election Commission of India has issued a notice to BJP District President of Nadia, West Bengal Mahadev Sarkar for violation of Model Code of Conduct by making personal remarks against TMC's Mahua Moitra during a public meeting. Sarkar has been barred from holding any election campaign or interviews in media in connection with the Lok Sabha election, for 48 hours, starting from 4:00pm on April 26.

5:35pm: "Remember how Congress people made fun of 'Swachh Bharat mission'. They didn't leave any chance to call the idea a small one. Whenever I used to pick the broom, they used to spend the entire day trolling me on social media," PM Narendra Modi said during an election rally in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

4:25pm: AAP leader and East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Atishi Marlena has filed a criminal complaint in the trial court against cricketer and BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir, seeking direction to police to investigate him for allegedly enrolling as voter in two separate constituencies. The Tees Hazari Court in Delhi will hear the matter on May 1.

4:10pm: Preneet Kaur, Congress candidate from Patiala Lok Sabha seat and wife of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, filed her nomination.

4:02pm: Delhi Court seeks action report from police on complaint seeking directions for FIR under  124A (sedition charges) against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for alleged derogatory remark against the Prime Minister.

3.55 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has filed his nomination from the Varanasiconstituency in Uttar Pradesh today. As per the election affidavit filed byhim, he has disclosed his movable and immovable assets to the tune of Rs 2.51crore. Out of the Rs 2.51 crores, movable assets comprise Rs 1.41 crore andimmovable assets are valued at Rs 1.1 crore.

3.17 pm: "The Congress says it will remove the army from Kashmir, will remove the special powers of the Jawans, will remove the law of treason. Can such a congress destroy a terrorist?": PM Modi

3.00 pm: PM Modi in Sidhi, MP blamed Congress of betraying the people of the state as it promised to reduce the electricity bills but instead decreased the electricity supply in their homes. "Congress had promised to reduce electricity bills & found a solution to do so by reducing electricity supply in your homes. Congress govt here is running on the formula of supplying lesser electricity than previous Shivraj govt. Is this not betrayal?" he said.

2.26 pm: Wrestler The Great Khali campaigns for BJP's Jadavpur candidate Anupam Hazra in Kolkata

2.20 pm: Singer Daler Mehndi joins BJP.

2.15 pm: PM Modi speaks at a rally in Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh.

2.00 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi speaks at a public ralley in Samastipur, Bihar

1.45 pm: Congress General Secretary, UP East Priyanka Gandhi at a public meeting in Gursarai, Jhansi, UP

1.28 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who present in Varanasi today told ANI that there is no one in competition with PM Modi. The difference between Modi with Gandhis is just as between an elephant and ant.

1.06 pm: PM Modi talked to reporters outside the District Magistrate's office after filing his nomination papers in Varanasi. "I deeply express gratitude towards people of Kashi. They have again blessed me after 5 years. Such a grand roadshow yesterday was possible only in Kashi," he said.

12: 37 pm: PM Modi thanked people of Varanasi and his party workers for the love and respect they showered on him and the massive support to his roadshow. Talking to reporters, the Prime Minister also requested voters throughout the country to come out and vote peacefully.

12.25 pm: Congress party took a jibe at PM Modi as he filed his nomination papers from Varanasi today. The party in a tweet said, "A son gave up his life taking a pledge to clean mother Ganga, but the self-proclaimed arrogant son of mother ganga did not budge. It is a world of shamelessness that the so called son who did not care for this mother Ganga for five years is now asking for vote in her name."

12.15 pm: Watch PM Modi filing his nomination from Varanasi

11.50 am: PM Modi files nomination papers from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat

PM Modi has filed his nomination to contest elections for the Lok Sabha Election 2019 from Varanasi parliamentary constituency.

11.23 am: PM Modi meets and greets BJP and NDA leaders before he files his nomination papers at the collectorate office in Varanasi. The massive show of strength of the NDA allies had leaders like BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Bihar CM and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.

11.19 am: Breaking News: No relief to Modi biopic, Supreme Court (SC) says not inclined to interfere with the Election Commission's order banning release.

11.15 am: PM Modi arrives at the collectorate office in Varanasi to file his nomination papers amidst the showering of petals by people and BJP party workers. Modi walks towards the nomination centre.

11.06 am: PM Modi on his way to the collectorate office in Varanasi to file his nomination papers. BJP and NDA leaders join him in a massive show of strength of the alliance.

11.01 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweets engine trouble on his way to Patna today. Flight returns to Delhi. "Engine trouble on our flight to Patna today! We've been forced to return to Delhi. Today's meetings in Samastipur (Bihar), Balasore (Orissa) & Sangamner (Maharashta) will run late. Apologies for the inconvenience," he said.

10.54 am: PM Modi offered prayers at Kal Bhairav temple. The Prime Minister now leaves for the collectorate office to file his nomination papers. Varanasi votes on April 29 in the phase 4 of the Lok Sabha Election 2019

10.47 am: PM Modi walks towards the Kal Bhairav Temple in Varanasi

PM Modi gets off from his car and walks towards the Kal Bhairav temple in Varanasi along with BJP leaders.

10.40 am: PM Modi's cavalcade heads to Kal Bhairav Temple in Varanasi

PM Modi is on his way to offer his prayers to Kal Bhairav temple in Varanasi. Modi's car gets covered with rose petals by people and party workers. The Prime Minister will file his nomimation papers afterwards in his Lok Sabha constituency.

10.25 am: PM Modi to BJP workers at their meet in Varanasi: Banaras ka chunav aisa hona chahiye ki desh ke political panditon ko us par kitaab likhne ka mann kar jaaye.

10.08 am: Respect all party candidates: PM Modi

PM Modi tells his party workers to respect all candidates even the ones from opposition parties who are contesting elections as they also are a part of the democratic process. "Don't get influenced by our fights in election rallies. No candidate is our enemy. They are all part of the democratic process. Respect them all." he says.

10.07 am: We need to break some records in Varanasi: PM Modi

PM Modi tells party workers in Varanasi, we need to break some records in Varanasi. I have always wished that number of women voters' turn out will be more than 5% compared to men. I couldn't do this in Gujarat, but you can do it Varanasi. I have faith in you.

10.04 am: We won Kashi last night: PM Modi

PM Modi tells party workers in Varanasi, Kashi was won by the party and party workers last night. The polling booths are the only thing left to be wonnow in Kashi. He says every party worker should take the responsibility to win each and every polling booth.

9.58 am: I have also been a fervent party worker: PM Modi tells BJP workers

PM Modi says that he never evaded responsibilities of a party worker even after becoming the Prime Minister. "I have also written party posters in my initial days. I have never ignored my responsibilities as BJP karyakarta.

9.55 am: Every vote is important and precious, says PM Modi

9:50 am: PM Modi starts addressing BJP workers in Varanasi.

9.40 am: NDA leaders reach Varanasi to join PM Modi

NDA leaders reached Varanasi this morning to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he files his nomination papers in his Lok Sabha constituency today. Leaders who reached the temple town are Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Parkash Singh Badal, AIADMK leader Thambidurai. JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar will soon land in Varanasi. A meeting is underway between the NDA leaders and BJP President Amit Shah.

9.35 am: PM Modi to speak to Aaj Tak today

Prime Minister Modi will speak exclusively to India Today editors in Varanasi today. The interview will be aired on Aaj Tak at 7 pm tonight.

9:30 am: PM Modi to offer prayers at Kaal Bhairav temple before filing nomination papers

Prime Minister Modi will pray at Kaal Bhairav temple, which is one of the oldest Shiva temples in the country. He will also meet booth-level workers before he goes ahead to file his nomination papers in Varanasi.

9.20 am: PM Modi's grand roadshow last night

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a mega roadshow in Varanasi Thursday drawing a deluge of crowds before he culminated the show with a Ganga aarti at the Dashashwamedh ghat. Modi was flanked by BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders.

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