New Delhi, April 22: The NDA will get an “absolute clear-cut mandate” to form the government in the general election, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said Tuesday, dismissing speculation of any need to align with key regional parties that could object to his prime ministership.
In a free-wheeling interview with ABP News TV channel for its programme “Ghoshnapatra” (manifesto), Modi answered a range of questions from governance, Pakistan, his likely trip to the US, bringing back black money, the 2002 Godhra riots, his marriage and on the Congress.
Modi, who opinion polls project as likely to be India’s next prime minister, to a question on Pakistan, said India needed to be governed in a way so that no other nation is able to intimidate it.
On whether he would visit the US, which has denied him a visa since 2005 because of the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi dodged a direct answer.
“This is a tough question… the country has chosen me to work for the nation,” he said, implying that the US would naturally have to buckle.
Modi dismissed the projection of poll pundits that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have to take support of regional parties like Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, J.Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK or Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, all of which are projecting themselves as king-makers in the likelihood of a fractured mandate.
“I say with confidence, as I have been touring the country and I am a student of political science… the BJP will this time get an ekdum (absolute) clear-cut mandate, and will come to power,” he told the TV channel.
Modi said the BJP’s alliance with 25 parties would fetch the required votes to form the government, thereby rendering “irrelevant” the question of having to align with the Trinamool and other such parties.
With the completion of five phases of the polls, or in 232 constituencies, “it is certain that the present government is on its way out and it is evident by the body language of the Congress”, he said.
“People are voting for good governance and development and they will make sure that the BJP, NDA comes to power.”
Terming Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra as “unimportant”, Modi said he would prefer focusing on positive work rather than digging up skeletons.
Asked if action would be taken against Vadra if the BJP comes to power, Modi told ABP News: “In my tenure in government (Gujarat), I have never opened any closed file. This is my personal view. Five years is a small time, I would focus on doing good work.”
“Would I have to answer questions on petty issues?” he counter-posed.
However, he added that the law would take its own course. “No one is above law.”
Asked whether he had done his ‘rajdharma’ or his duty as a chief minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots, during which he has been accused of complicity by not taking prompt action, Modi dodged a direct answer.
“I have taken it (moral responsibility for any person killed in Gujarat) since day one. In my speech in the state assembly, all my interviews, speeches, I have mentioned it,” he said of the riots in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
Asked if his decisions as prime minister would bear an imprint of his background of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi said the government will function “as per the Constitution”.
On the question of his wife, which cropped up after he acknowledged his marriage in his election affidavit, Modi said he was not “surprised” at his political opponents tossing up the subject and dismissed that there was anything to discuss about his personal life.