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Interview of Narendra Modi at Zee News

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MUMBAI: Claiming to know the pulse of the nation, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi took the fight to the enemy camp saying that the foundation for a new government had already been laid.

He said recent statements by Congress leadership in regard to support likely to a Third Front meant that the party had accepted defeat. “When elections were announced there was talk of a hung Parliament. Now there is talk of support to non NDA government. I am not myself saying anything. Congress statements themselves show that the mother-son government is on the way out and the foundation for a new government has been laid.”

Commenting on the idea behind the popular BJP’s slogan “Acche din aane wale hain”, Modi said, “While inaugurating Pravasi Bharatiya Sammelan PM Manmohan Singh assured good days will come despite gloomy economic scenario. Next day I had a meeting there where I narrated PM’s slogan and the entire hall burst into laughter. The message was clear.”

Maintaining his attack on Congress, he said, “Look at all bad things in this country and they all add up to define Congress today. That is why all miss-governance gets identified with Congress. There is negativity all round.”

Modi, however, sounded optimistic for May 16. “The moment results come out on May 16 we will move out of negativity. The country will take 125 core steps forward. 2014 is an election of hope. Aspiration yields positive energy which leads to growth of the country.”

Refusing to be drawn further on the issue of ever growing personal attacks, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate said, “We are committed to the slogan of good governance and development. People have liked our pitch.”  To substantiate his view, he cited an earlier instance of good governance. “In 2001 the massive earthquake had devastated Gujarat and within a short span of time the state got back on the development track.”

However, in response to another question, on heightened attacks on him and BJP by Mamata Banerjee and other regional leaders, he sounded aggressive in his response. “Six phases of polling have already taken place. The mood of the nation is known to everyone. That is why the heightened attack. They have nothing to offer of their own. Their objective is to aim to dislodge him.”

On how he faced up to the Gandhi troika, he said, “It is not just the Gandhi family. All UPA allies are up against me. It is Modi versus the rest. The irony is that instead of evaluating the performance of their government, they are all auditing Gujarat model.”

Modi reiterated that his brand of politics revolved purely on development. “I am not in favour of vote bank politics. I am not for communal and caste politics. I oppose them.”

Citing his own humble background to buttress the point, he said, “Is it a sin to be poor in this country? I come from a poor background but I have never used poverty as a political ploy. I am here today having sold tea in train compartments.” He categorically denied he was in race for power but reiterated his commitment to work towards building a modern India.

In response to another question on whether he had raised far too many expectations, he said he was no dream seller but had a sense of the pulse of the people of this country. “There has to be a commitment to governance and that is my promise. I have not made any tall claims.” Citing what these steps would be, he quoted the example of sanitation.  “Small steps will make a difference to shed all round negativity. There are no toilets for women in most part of India. This has to change.”     

Modi said he was like any other citizen and lived life like a commoner. “I am not a robot. I am a common man. I think and act like a common man. I have a commitment to the common man. But I have my own limitations like any other human being.”    

Evading question on Baba Ramdev’s measures to improve the economy, Modi said, “My expert team will decide about the economic decision. Don’t bring Baba Ramdev in such things”. Was he readying his team ahead of his party’s claim of NDA coming to power, Modi said, “My current KRA is to fight and win the election. I am not thinking of anything else.”

On stock market rally ahead of elections, he said there had been a needless controversy. Without getting into directly attacking the finance minister, he said, “It is for investing community to respond to as to why it mentions my name and not that of the Prime Minister and finance minister.”

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