Following is one of the best interview of Gujarat and Bharat's best Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in print media after a long time. It's a must read. The interview was given to PR Ramesh of Economic Times.
Hindutva & development not contradictory: Narendra Modi
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There is a general feeling that this is an issue-less election. And that the campaign is all about competitive mud-slinging.
The first round of election has proved the pundits wrong. There was 60% polling. The electorate has given a fitting answer to those who say that there is no issue or interest in the election. People of this country want change. They want to get rid of a government which waffles. On all important issues that confront the country, Manmohan Singh’s responses were uncertain, reluctant, tentative and irresolute. People will deliver the knockout blow because they want a government that performs. People want a government that will provide security.
What is your party’s big message in this election. Is your party able to sway the electoral mood?
The voters’ reflexes are governed by three issues. Firstly, they are fed up with the vote bank politics of our rivals. Secondly, they are angry with the government for lack of basic development. And thirdly, there is revulsion against the Centre for its failure to protect them. Things are going south with security and economy. The credibility issues surrounding the Manmohan Singh government are real and lasting.
In your campaign speeches, Hindutva issues figure as prominently as development. Is it because you are not sure whether non-Hindutva issues connect with people?
When I talk about the development initiatives undertaken by my government, people connect with me. They know that I am not indulging in empty rhetoric. The state has been flourishing under the BJP rule. People, who are the stakeholders, are happy with our performance. And they are bound to question the governance of those in power at the Centre. The Manmohan Singh government has a shabby and dishonourable track record.
Hindutva and development are not contradictory. How can Ram Rajya be anti-development? Ram Rajya is all about providing opportunity for those who need help. What should be on the nation’s top drawer is the resolve to redeem Gandhiji’s pledge to wipe out every tear from every eye. And that is Ram Rajya all about. Only pseudo secularists argue that Hindutva and development cannot coexist. It only exposes their perverted thinking.
Do you agree with the view that no party’s support is very deep at this point and that the BJP would find it difficult to form a government?
There is a pattern in the media analysis. You look at what the pundits had said about the outcome of past five elections. When elections are announced, they tell us that it’s an issue-less election. And when candidates are announced, they tell us that there is no enthusiasm. When the campaign is into the second week, they say that no party will get a clear majority and in the last week, they will be all over print and TV discussing what the President should do after the election. Frankly, they should take a break.