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Home > News > PTI

National role is media speculation: Modi

Anand Kumar and Avinash Nair | December 27, 2007 17:54 IST

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Coverage: Gujarat Votes, 2007

Fresh from his triumph in the assembly elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] on Thursday sought to scotch speculation about ambitions of playing a role at the national level.

Settling in his third term as the chief minister of Gujarat, Modi does not want to discuss the predictions by the media and analysts in the aftermath of his massive victory that he was in the race for prime ministership.

In an exclusive interview with PTI, he also did not think that the controversial maut ka saudagar (merchants of death) remarks of Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] helped him turn the campaign in his favour.

He also answered questions on how he saw the minorities but parried queries on whether he regretted the killings in the post-Godhra violence in 2002.

"You have seen what a section of the media had done with the career of senior politicians like Chandrababu Naidu [Images] and Sharad Pawar [Images]. The media has spoilt their future by highlighting them as future," said Modi.

"Will you do the same to me," he asked, adding that he had no ambition even to become the chief minister of Gujarat.

"But now my cause is Gujarat and I am happy to work for the people of the state." 

Ever since the victory, there has been media speculation that Modi may play a bigger role in his party affairs with an eye on prime ministership on the back of an aggressive Hindutva.

But he sought to send signals to the leadership in his speech to newly-elected MLAs that he was not bigger than the party -- the 'mother.'

In the interview he was asked whether Sonia's 'merchants of death' remarks or the statements by other Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh  about Hindu terrorism and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] promise to review the 2002 riots cases had helped him turn the campaign in his favour.

The chief minister does not agree with such a view.

"By making such remarks the Congress had not made a mistake during the election campaign. They had very methodically gone about their campaign," he said.

"They searched every possible way to win over the people. They felt that they will succeed if they speak these things or bring a particular person to campaign for them. They tried every trick, but the people of Gujarat did not appreciate their remarks. Every few days, they were forced to hunt for new ways to reach out to the electorate," he said.

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