BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday debunked accusations of a personality cult around him, insisting that remarks that he had grown bigger than the party caused him “a lot of pain”.
BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Mandla for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. (HT photo)
“I have always maintained that a son can never grow to be bigger than the mother,” Modi told HT in an email interview. He stressed that the BJP, too, had to “evolve” according to the changing times, needs and the aspirations of the people.
Responding to a questionnaire sent to him by HT, Modi touched on a range of subjects including setting up “defence manufacturing zones”, bring about a “skill and manufacturing revolution” and promised to “continue with (Atal Bihari) Vajpayeeji’s foreign policy legacy” if his party came to power.
He criticised his opponents for stoking fear and communalising the elections in the name of secularism. “I’m proud that we have changed that. They are no longer able to do so. Hence this Stop Modi Project. They fear the change that is coming,” he said.
Asked about his statements calling for action against those guilty of corruption, Modi said he did not believe in being vindictive. He, however, said there was “nothing political or partisan or vindictive” about wanting justice delivery on time.
Read interview: Criminal politicians to be punished in a year, says Modi
“Yes, the corrupt and criminal elements in every party must be punished within a year for which for which we will create special courts. In this, no party will be excluded. If the leaders are corrupt, they will be punished.”
Modi – who had spoken about replacing China as the world’s manufacturing hub – said this could be achieved by leveraging India’s three strengths over China: “The three Ds: Demography, Democracy and Demand.”
Modi means 'Man Of Damage to India', says Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Modi rejects 'irresponsible' remarks, Congress says he is shedding 'crocodile tears'
Full coverage: My India My Vote