‘Hatred for Me Is the Sole Gluing Force for Opposition’: PM Modi
“In the Opposition, there in no Grand Alliance, there is just a grand race to be PM,” Modi said in an interview.
Amidst talks of a grand alliance being formed to fight the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress and the other Opposition parties, saying that "hatred for Modi is the sole gluing force for the Opposition.”
In an interview to Swarajya Magazine, which was taken on 30 June but published on Tuesday, 3 July, PM Modi dismissed that there was ‘grand alliance’ in the Opposition, instead saying that it's just a "grand race" by his rivals to become prime minister.
In the Opposition, there in no Grand Alliance, there is just a grand race to be prime minister. Mr Rahul Gandhi says he is ready to be prime minister but TMC does not agree. Mamata Ji wants to be PM but the Left has a problem. SP thinks their leader more than anyone else deserves to be PM. The whole focus is power politics, not people’s progress.PM Narendra Modi to Swarajya Magazine
Pitching the next general elections as a "choice between governance and development on one side and chaos on the other," Modi indicated that a grand Opposition alliance is not "motivated by national good" and has "no agenda except to remove Modi."
He expressed confidence that the people will vote the Bharatiya Janata Party back to power in the 2019 polls.
'Congress Is Fighting a Battle for Existence'
Training his guns on the Congress, Modi said that the Rahul Gandhi-led party is in a "astitva ki ladhai (fighting a battle for existence)" and is now running from pillar to post looking for allies, as the people have rejected its high-handedness.
Today, the Congress is like a regional party. They are in power only in Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry... The people of India also know how the Congress tends to treat allies. They are known to betray and insult others...For their selfish interests, Congress can sacrifice anything.PM Modi to Swarajya Magazine
'Development Has Taken a Back-Seat in Karnataka'
Lashing out at the Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka, PM Modi dubbed it as "a trailer of what is possible in store."
After a stolen mandate a government was formed, but the bickering continues. You would expect ministers meeting each other to solve development issues but in Karnataka they meet only to quell infighting! Development has taken a back seat. In any election, a non-ideological and opportunist coalition is the best guarantee for chaos.PM Modi to Swarajya Magazine
'NDA Is a Large and Happy Family of Over 20 Parties'
Amid speculation that there is increasing unrest in the BJP-led NDA – with the TDP leaving the alliance and Shiv Sena taking potshots at the BJP all too frequently – Prime Minister Modi sought to dismiss this, saying:
The NDA is a large and happy family of over 20 parties. It is leading strong coalitions in various states of India. Which other alliance has such an impressive membership and is serving in so many states?
Modi said that the BJP made their NDA allies part of the government, even though the party "could have easily formed the government" on its own.
You must understand how we in the BJP view the NDA. The NDA is not our compulsion. It is an article of faith. A large and diverse NDA is good for India’s democracy.PM Modi to Swarajya Magazine
He also played down his party's losses in the bypolls, especially in Uttar Pradesh, citing how the BJP had not done well in some local elections in Gujarat before the 1998 Assembly polls but went on to win two-thirds majority.
Reiterating Support for Simultaneous Elections
In the interview, Modi reiterated his support for the idea of 'One Nation, One Election', listing out its “benefits.”
Claiming how the holding of elections sporadically (and not simultaneously) leads to "delays in development decisions," Modi asserted:
Holding Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls together will involve lesser waste of resources and enable a healthy culture of working together in the spirit of cooperative federalism for the common pursuit of India’s progress.
(With inputs from PTI, Swarajya Magazine)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.