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National role is media speculation: Modi
Anand Kumar and Avinash Nair | December 27, 2007 17:54 IST
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.
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.
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.
"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.