‘Not here to rule, but serve…: PM says LS polls an ‘initiative’ of people, flays Cong for losing ‘golden opportunity’

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI : Asserting that he was a ‘sevak’ (one who serves people) and not a ruler, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday said he was not the kind who ‘enjoys’ his powers and position while occupying the country’s most coveted chair.

In an interview, Prime Minister Modi, who is bidding for a third term in office and set a target of ‘400 paar’ (400-plus seats) for the BJP-led NDA, said he was going to the people with ‘guarantees’.

“I would put it this way: the elections in 2014 were about hope. People voted in the hope of change, and I took office in the hope of fulfilling the promises that I made to them. I am not here to rule, but serve. I am not in favour of enjoying the perks and powers that come with the job. I try to work hard, even more than a common citizen would, in a bid to fulfil the people’s aspirations. However, if 2014 was about hope, then 2019 was about belief. With the belief that the people were with me, I was convinced that we were heading in the right direction. In 2024, drawing on the experience of having served the people for two terms, I am going to the people with guarantees,” PM Modi said.

On his slogan of ‘400 paar’ for the NDA, going into the Lok Sabha elections, a feat achieved only once in India’s history–by the Congress under Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, PM Modi said that the country needs a stable government at the Centre to maximise its development potential.

“In a democracy, every political party should aspire to contest elections to earn people’s faith. The laws or policies that they make, if elected, should align with the vision to take the country forward. I believe it isn’t good for our democracy if a party, which is power, doesn’t nurture such aspirations. This is the need of a democracy,” PM Modi said.

He added that he or his party was not contesting the 2024 elections, rather, it was an “initiative launched and carried forward by the people of the country”.

“The world has witnessed many unstable governments in India. Such governments did more harm to the country than good. The world’s view of India did not amount to anything. However, over the last ten years, the people have seen what a stable government can achieve. It is not Modi who is contesting the general elections, it is the BJP. These elections are nothing but an initiative that the people are carrying forward,” PM Modi added.

Hitting out at the Congress, he said that the grand old party, which ruled the country for the most time since independence, missed out on a golden opportunity to serve people, who were on the margins of society and needed handholding and welfare.

“The BJP came to power five or six decades after an uninterrupted Congress rule in the country. Under the Congress rule, there was no such thing as an Opposition. Back in the day, even the media lacked the freedom and spine to highlight these things. They (Congress) ruled the roost, and even the people were with them. Such was the spirit and enthusiasm of the people back in the day that the Congress could have achieved virtually anything they wished for the country. However, they wasted a golden opportunity and faded away gradually. Such was the state of affairs in the country when the people gave us a chance to serve them. However, even then, there were those who said I knew nothing of governance, the country or world affairs,” PM Modi said.

On claims that the Centre was misusing agencies at its disposal to hound and harass Opposition leaders, Prime Minister Modi said, “If we want to root out corruption from the country, then we should allow our institutions to work towards the purposes that they were founded for.” (ANI)

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