“If We Have To Develop India, We Have To Develop East India”: PM Modi Exclusive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an exclusive interview with NDTV today, said the BJP will expand its footprint hugely in eastern India this time, which would take the NDA easily over the 400-seat mark. In the overarching interview, he also spoke of the governance model of the BJP, and his commitment to women’s empowerment.

Asked about a BJP upswing in eastern India, the Prime Minister spoke about the special focus on the zone to develop it as the country’s growth engine.

“If you listen to my 2013 speech, I had mentioned then, when I was not even the PM candidate, that if we want to develop India we have to make East India the growth engine,” he said while holding a roadshow in Patna.  

Asked if the election would be a referendum on the BJP’s governance model, PM Modi said, “The BJP has given the nation a governance model. The nation has seen the Congress, Left, coalition, others. The country has seen the risk taking government and based on that we are going ahead”.

Underscoring the BJP’s achievements in the fields of health and infrastructure, PM Modi said the results “in the east will reflect that”. It will come as a surprise to the people, he added. “Like in Telangana, Odisha, Bengal, in Bihar Jharkhand, Assam. I can see, BJP will add new areas,” he said.

The 370-seat target for the BJP and the 400-seat target for the NDA, implies that the BJP and its allies will have to expand their dominance beyond the Hindi heartland. Southern states other than Karnataka and eastern states like Bengal and Odisha have long been the BJP’s target.

As for Bihar, where the Prime Minister held a roadshow today, the party is hoping to sweep the state. The BJP and ally Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United will contest 17 and 16 seats.

The rest of the state’s 40 seats have been divided between Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), five seats. One seat each has gone to Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and the Rashtriya Lok Morcha.

Asked about women voters, PM Modi said, “Empowerment of women is my commitment. We have to give opportunities to women… We have opened doors of Army. In Siachen, our daughters are guarding the nation. There has been a psychological change,” he added.

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