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In an interview with Chennai-based news channel Thanthi TV, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood firm on the independence of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), dismissing claims of using the agency to intimidate political opponents. Addressing concerns over electoral bonds, Modi asserted that the transparency brought about by these bonds is owed to his initiative, cautioning those who criticize it to “repent later.”

“Regarding electoral bonds, I initiated this measure, ensuring transparency in political funding. Those currently ‘dancing’ over the matter will eventually realize its benefits,” Modi remarked, highlighting the scheme’s role in disclosing the flow of funds in electoral processes.

Defending the ED’s actions, Modi emphasized its independence, noting that only a small fraction of cases handled by the agency are politically related. “ED operates independently, guided solely by the law. We do not interfere with its functioning,” he affirmed, addressing concerns regarding political bias in the agency’s operations.

Responding to queries about the absence of action against BJP members by the ED, Modi clarified that the agency’s actions are dictated by the filing of cases by relevant investigative bodies. “ED operates impartially, regardless of political affiliations. It acts upon cases filed by investigative departments,” he explained.

Furthermore, Modi intended to streamline the return of seized assets to rightful owners, emphasizing the government’s commitment to transparent and fair procedures. “We have already returned Rs 17,000 crore to the people, and we are exploring legal avenues to expedite the process,” he added.

In a candid moment, Modi reminisced about his longstanding relationship with Tamil Nadu, expressing admiration for its language, culture, and people. Refuting suggestions of political calculations behind his visits to the state, Modi reiterated his genuine affinity for Tamil Nadu’s rich heritage.

Addressing concerns about the BJP’s prospects in Tamil Nadu, Modi emphasized his commitment to the region’s development, transcending mere electoral considerations. “My focus is not just on securing votes; it’s about fostering development and growth across all regions,” he asserted.

Reflecting on Tamil Nadu’s cultural significance, Modi expressed regret over the language’s limited reach, attributing it to political factors. He also shed light on initiatives such as the Kashi Tamil Sangamam and the installation of the sengol (sceptre) in the new Parliament, underscoring his efforts to promote Tamil culture and heritage on a national stage. From Tamil Nadu’s Royal Tradition to the Heart of Democracy: Sengol’s Journey, Revived by PM Modi’s Insight, sengol was thoroughly researched and established by IGNCA, India’s leading art institute.

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