I underestimated Narendra Modi, says Fareed Zakaria

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New Delhi, Sept 20: Indian-American journalist and author Fareed Zakaria on Saturday said he had underestimated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at a gathering many years ago (it was in 2012). Speaking to the CNN-IBN, Zakaria, who himself took the first television interview of PM Modi after he took power, said he would not have made such an evaluation of Modi had he met him earlier.

[Read: You can't call the Indian prime minister a guy, Mr Fareed Zakaria]

[Read: Why can't Fareed Zakaria pass a sensible judgement on Narendra Modi ever?]

Zakaria had said during a session in April 2012 that Modi was not even going to become a regional leader, let alone him becoming the prime minister of India. He took sharp dig at the BJP's rise in the country, even quoting Karl Marx as saying: "History repeats itself twice, first as a tragedy, second as a farce." He was referring to the prospects of the right-wing BJP's return to power and said Modi could never be the face of India, a nation with complicated and diverse realities.

Speaking to the CNN-IBN, Zakaria also defended his earlier evaluation of Modi, saying some BJP leaders might also have thought like he did. After taking the interview of Modi, the 48-year-old journalist-author called the Indian prime minister a tough person who is handling international relations in a shrewd way.

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