New Delhi, April 12: BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi clarified on his “puppy” remark, saying his comment had been wrongly interpreted, and also defended his decision of declining to wear a skull cap.
Appearing on India TV’s show, Aap Ki Adalat, Modi, in an affable mood, said that he would not wear a skull cap in order to imitate other politicians in appeasing the Muslims and “hoodwinking” them. He said he rather believed in educating Muslims, that they should hold the Quran in one hand and a computer in the other.
The Gujarat chief minister also sought to dispel the impression that he had become the hub of the party and that other senior leaders were being relegated to the background, saying the BJP worked as a team.
Defending his decision not to wear the skull cap, Modi said that he respected his own traditions as well that of others.
“They (other politicians) can do anything for appeasement. I believe in respecting traditions of all religions. But at the same time, I have to respect my own tradition as well although I respect all traditions. I can’t hoodwink people by wearing such skull caps. But I believe in taking action against those who show disrespect to others” said Modi.
On his controversial answer in an interview with a foreign media person in context of killing of Muslims in Gujarat riots that “It pains even when a puppy comes under my car”, Modi said: “In our country we say it pains even if an ant dies. These are proverbs. This should not be interpreted otherwise.
“And you should know that the person who had taken my interview, despite being a foreigner, had tweeted that I did not mean anything like that. But the news traders, and I am not talking about media, used this to sell their stuff.”
Dismissing the suggestion as “not true” that BJP was getting centred around him, Modi said: “BJP is a huge organization. It works in that structure. There is a galaxy of leaders who are equally competent. During elections we have to set a goal and prioritize issues. Even for this there is a committee of which Modi is not a part.
“Previously we worked under Atalji’s (Bihari Vajpayee) guidance. Then we worked under (L.K.)Advaniji, Harshvardhan in Delhi, Shivraj Singh (Chouhan) in MP (Madhya Pradesh) and in Rajasthan we worked under Vasundhara Raje.
“Soresponsibilities are distributed according to the party’s goal. Right now I have been given this role and I have to do what the party has asked me to do. I am a worker of the party. We are a team.”
He described as an “achievement” Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s observation that he can even sell combs to bald people. “I used to sell tea. I never sold combs but the information that I can do it has reached them, is sort of achievement for me,” said Modi.
Making light of the allegation by the Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma that BJP had spent Rs.10,000 crore on the ad campaign during ongoing Lok Sabha election, Modi said: “The first thing that Anand Sharma needs to do is to write to the EC. Then there is a government agency named Enforcement Directorate.
“Since they don’t do anything, I’m giving them an idea of doing some work. Let them fully investigate it. Let Anand Sharma do it as fast as possible. If there is any objection from EC, I’m willing to writing to EC to let them do it.”