By Smita Prakash, Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Apr.16 ANI | 2 years ago

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that it was wrong to say that local or state leaders of the party are upset with the way tickets for this year's general elections have been distributed.

Modi told Smita Prakash, Editor (News) Asian News International , in an exclusive interview held here, that while the electoral battle for wresting the state of Uttar Pradesh is an important one, there is no truth to the view that the local leadership is pretty upset about ticket distribution,and is facing an uphill battle, as also to the view, that changing the seats of leaders like M.M. Joshi and Lalji Tandon might affect results in at least ten seats.

"It is an old issue. This information is wrong, as well as the analysis," he said.

When asked whether he was confident about these issue not affecting him, Modi said: " Not just UP, the whole country, will not be affected."

On the point of their being no Modi wave in southern india like in the northern parts, and whether this was because of a mistake in the pre-poll alliance, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said: "There is a wrong perception in our country, and I want political pundits and mediapersons, to come out of this thought process."

"During the Jan Sangh days, it was said that the BJP only belongs to the Baniya Brahmin. Sometimes, it was said that it was the party of the Cow Belt or the Hindi Belt. Sometimes, it was said that it belongs to urban India. All this thinking, belongs to people who refuse to read new material and continue to dig the libraries," he said.

"If you look at the analysis, Gujarat is not a Hindi-speaking state, but still we are in power for the last 25 years. Same can be said about Goa and Karnataka. We were a part of the coalition government in Odisha. In the same way, we were partners at one time in the governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

"So, there is a perception, but this not the reality. Today, the BJP belongs to the rural people, farmers, backwards, north-south-east-west, on every crossing of the country. In these elections, we are performing on every front. Third, earlier BJP was considered an untouchable party, where only the RSS and the Shiv Sena were considered allies. But, for the first time, there is now a party that has forged pre-poll alliances with 25 parties. This is unprecedented," Modi said.

He also rejected the notion of their being any kind of bitter criticism from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

"First, there has been no bitter criticism. In a democracy, everybody has a right to put forth their views in their own language. The BJP and all other parties have this right. In politics, I don't believe an inch in untouchability. No matter how much political enmity exists, but on personal level friendship is considered the beauty of our democracy. There can be views and opinions, there can be differences," he said.

"You must have seen Sharad Pawar, who had bitterly criticised me, and even I had indulged in the same on the political platform. But personally, we are on good terms, which both of us acknowledge. Even with Jayalalithaa, it is the same thing. Even in Congress, there are many leaders with whom I am on good terms. There is nothing such as enmity. There is competition, and there is an ideological revolution. Therefore, the politics of untouchability never empowers democracy," he said.

(Posted on 16-04-2014)

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