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I’m not bigger than party: Modi

Gandhinagar, December 24
A triumphant Narendra Modi today sought to play down his larger-than-life image and said he was not “bigger” than the BJP, his “mother”.

A day after his sweeping win in the Gujarat Assembly elections, an emotion-charged Modi took on the “perverted mindset” of the media which had portrayed him as bigger than the party in remarks which would be reassuring to those in the top echelons of his party who may be wary of his triumph.

“Those who say Modi is bigger than the party do not know what the history of the BJP and Jan Sangh is. The son cannot ever be bigger than a mother,” he said in his speech after his election as the leader of the BJP legislature party that will enable him become Chief Minister for a third term.

The 57-year-old former RSS pracharak, who virtually ran the election campaign single-handedly, had tears in his eyes and was overcome by emotion, when he hit out at the media for its predictions and for projecting him as bigger than the organisation.

“It is ‘vikrut manssikta’ (perverted mindset) to say that Modi is bigger than the party,” he said.

“In the days of the Jan Sangh, candidates of the party used to lose their deposits in most of the elections. At that time, many dedicated workers and families sincerely worked for the party.”

“My image appears to be bigger because of the limitation of your lenses which stop at me. But if you were to widen your focus, you could see thousands of BJP workers who have lifted me up on their shoulders,” Modi said, taking a dig at the media, which has been projecting him as bigger than the party.

“The leading media had no inclination about the outcome of the Gujarat elections, prompting them to rely on ‘satta bazaar’ (betting)”, he said.

In his address to the newly-elected MLAs in the presence of party leaders M. Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, Modi said, “People have not just given us power, but have also handed over responsibility”.

He said the people of the state had elected the BJP after taking the work, which his party has done in the last five years, into consideration.

“This re-election is enough indication that we are treading on the right path,” Modi said adding the future government in Gujarat will continue to work on the same lines as it had done in the past.

Earlier, Modi handed over the resignation of the entire state cabinet to Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishor Sharma after the present term of the government ended today.

While accepting the resignation, Nawal Kishor Sharma asked Modi to continue as the “caretaker” Chief Minister till the new government is formed. — PTI

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