For Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, politics is a catalyst for development. In his rule spanning ten long years, Modi has transformed Gujarat into a divine state. India now begins to see a prime minister in Modi.
When asked whether he is ready to take up the job of PM, Modi said, “I’m not interested in becoming anything, but I am interested in doing something for my country and for the poor people.” Modi was answering a question by The Economist in an interview.
At a time when Gujarat is gearing up for Assembly elections, the Chief Minister who is committed to the people of the state is confident that he will get another chance to serve the state. “I will devote each and every moment to serve my people of Gujarat,” he said.
When asked by The Economist how he sees his role as a political leader in the last ten years as Chief Minister, Modi said, “There is no ambition in my life. My mission is to serve my country. When I am working for my state, it means I am working for my nation.”
When The Economist asked him to define his style of leadership saying he is being called a “dictator” who “pushes his own style”, Modi said that all the credit for the success of Gujarat goes to “Team Gujarat”.
“We are a policy-driven state. We are the only state to put our policy draft on the net, we invite the people to go through our draft policy, give your suggestions, then we discuss, then we finalise… We circulate the draft to the people,” he said.
Emphasising that it is “inspiration” not “imposition” which produces results, the Gujarat CM said, “Unless and until you inspire the people, you will not get results. Our progress is because of clarity of thought, faith and conviction of character to act.”
When asked by The Economist whether he is an open leader who is ready to takes criticism well, Modi said, “The essence of democracy is criticism. I always welcome criticism. But I am against allegations.”
On his relations with western countries, the Gujurat Chief Minister said he believes in the philosophy of “the whole world is one family”.
“In the last ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’ the maximum number of delegations was from the USA. Canada was also a partner of the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’. The maximum investment in my state is from the British,” he said.
Responding to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s comments that India needs a “secular leader” for Prime Minister, Modi said, “My constitution says that the country must be secular, political parties must be secular, leaders must be secular. This is an article of faith, and we believe in justice for all, appeasement of none.”