BJP will implement zero-tolerance policy against corruption: Modi

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New Delhi, March 2: The BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi talked on various issues related to upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2014 to Dainik Jagran.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Q: Your political opponents and critics raise question on your Gujarat's development model? What do you have to say on it?

Modi: I don't expect opponents to praise me or give me any certification. It's very natural that they will present facts by twisting them or present half truth and lies. The mirror to know ground realities are whether people are happy or not, development has taken place or not, promises have been fulfilled or not...The people of Gujarat have proved their choice three times during assembly elections.

Lok Sabha elections 2014 will be for the nation and not only for Gujarat. My advice to my critics and opponents is to come and visit Gujarat, and then give their ratings. Our state tourism brand ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan has rightly said, "Spend some days in Gujarat, then who so ever criticises, is welcome.

Q: You have many times talked about Centre and states, and have even written letter to the PM Manmohan Singh. What's your take on federal structure?

Modi: From last years, I have been governing Gujarat as a chief minister. I have minutely observed Centre's behaviour towards states. Sadly, states were weakened slowly and slowly, after independence. The country can only develop when the Central government and state governments work shoulder to shoulder, like a team. There is a need for mutual coordination, cooperation and faith between the PM and the chief ministers of all states.

Q: In last decade, the growth rate in Gujarat has been more that 10%. Can this magic be implemented at national level?

Modi: Gujarat is a part of this country. Whatever is possible in Gujarat, is also possible in the nation. The track record of BJP and NDA has been good in terms of economic development and progress. During Vajpayee ji government too, the growth rate was more than eight per cent.

But today, the inflation rate is 8 per cent while growth rate is just 4 per cent. From Gujarat, I have learnt a lesson that if there is transparency in the governance and the process of taking decisions is easy and effective, then industrial investment happens on its own. In view of our track record, it won't be difficult.

Q: The BJP blames the UPA government for rising prices. Do you promise that if NDA forms the government, then prices will come down?

Modi: The Congress had claimed to bring prices down within 100 days. But five years have passed, their promise has not been fulfilled. Whether it was during Morarji Desai or Vajpayee government, the prices were in total control.

Q: Ending subsidy is a part of policy of BJP as well as Congress? Then why, criticism...

Modi: The basic difference is that Congress looks at poor people in the form of a vote-bank, and wants them to remain poor so that they depend on government and their vote-bank also remain intact. But BJP's view is that they should be made to fight against poverty by making them powerful.

Q: Corruption is the biggest issue in upcoming elections. The government is bring many bills and ordinances to control it. What suggestion do you have on this sudden change of system?

Modi: First and the most important thing to fight against corruption is the authenticity of the top political leadership. If the top brass is corrupt or silently giving acceptance to corruption due to its weakness, then who will stop it?

People will have to decide that, which party can give such authentic leadership. I am of the view that a battle is not fought only with laws, it is very important to have good intentions. To uproot corruption, it is important to have experienced and strong leadership. I promise that we will implement zero-tolerance policy against corruption.

Q: Modi has been seen as a person who is bold and visionary. But sometimes, he has been accused of being a dictator....

Modi: There is democracy in our country and everyone has a right to present their opinions and thoughts. I won't comment on who says what about me. From years, the situation of indecisiveness, has become so strong, that the decisive leadership has been generalised as a victim of criticism. I believe that it is very essential to consult and discuss before taking any decision, so that everyone's contribution is ensured. And once a decision is finalised, then it is important to implement it with right time otherwise we end up as victims of paralysis by analysis.

Q: You have been accused of speaking very sharply that has hurt some people..What are the reasons?

Modi: I always refrain myself from making personal attacks. But it won't be appropriate if I don't raise issues that are in public favour. Unfortunately, some people take it as a personal criticism when I talk about dynastic politics. But if you keep in mind, the way I have been targetted and mud slinging has been done against me, then you will realise that I don't speak too sharply.

Q: Everyone wants to know that from which constituency, Modi will contest elections?

Modi: BJP has a long process of selecting a candidate. Party's Election Committee will decide on it.

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