WION Web Team Kolkata, West Bengal, India
May 17, 2019, 04.17 PM
As campaigning ended in the Lok Sabha polls, Zee Bangla caught up with PM Modi for a quick chat on the last leg of the campaign trail in West Bengal to understand his mission in the state, the poll violence which has hit the headlines in the past month and BJP's vision in the 2021 assembly elections.
Q: You have undertaken seventeen rallies in West Bengal which has been unprecedented for an Indian prime minister. What was your aim?
A: When the people of this country gives us a task, they don't give us to sit in Delhi and enjoy ourselves. As the country's prime minister it is my responsibility to visit all parts of the country and meet the people, it is part of my job. You would have seen since 2014, not a single Friday, Saturday or Sunday has gone by when I haven't visited some part of the country.
I am a man of the people and I like interacting with the people, this is the reason I came here. Secondly, my other idea was to thank the people of this country because for five years this country cooperated with me, they gave me their love and confidence, so it was obvious lakhs of people would meet me.
I have enjoyed a special relationship with West Bengal. In the beginning of my life, the Ram Krishna mission played a big role, so obviously, I like coming here and taking inspiration from the great people of the state. The people of the state give me strength.
Q: A lot of BJP workers have complained about pre-poll and post-poll violence, although they have complained to the Election Commission but for you and the BJP how difficult has it been for you to campaign here?
A: The question is not the BJP or no BJP, it is the fear of defeat which is driving the TMC. The TMC, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and those close to her are so fearful that they have lost their balance and made the people of West Bengal their enemy. Now they have started attacking the people of the state. Whatever is happening in Bengal is the battle between the people of the state and the government. The people who are being killed are the kids of Bengal and who is killing them? They belong to the government.
Secondly, this did not just happen during the Lok Sabha elections. During the panchayat polls, the people had to go to the court just to get their nomination. In the panchayat polls, there was widespread violence, those who won the polls their houses were burnt. This undemocratic attitude is a matter of concern for the country.
Q: In all the rallies you have confidently said that BJP is coming back to power. In West Bengal, there will be assembly polls in 2021. Do you have a strategy for West Bengal and also do you have a vision for the state?
A: The entire country needs to be developed, in the western part of India whether it is Maharashtra, Punjab or Goa, the economic activity can be seen. Then you see Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, the north-east, this region has no dearth of natural resources. There are talented people in this region but there is a great deal of poverty. My thinking is that if India needs to be developed than every region needs to be looked at in a balanced way.
The way the western region has developed, we need to bring the eastern region in sync with the western part of the country. This is the only way in which India will become a $5 trillion economy, then we can jump from No-6 position in the world to No-3 in the world. So I have a vision for the entire eastern region.
Kolkata can become the growth hub of the entire country, there is so much strength. However, in the last 40 years, we have destroyed everything. We need to bring back development.
Whatever is happening in Bengal is the battle between the people of the state and the government, PM Modi said.