Despite state losses, BJP will do well in national polls: Modi, Latest World News - The New Paper

Despite state losses, BJP will do well in national polls: Modi

This article is more than 12 months old

INDIA : India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of doing well at this year's general election despite recent losses in state polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview with AN I yesterday.

"No reason for morale down. We are confident and are moving ahead. In 2019, if there is one party which the country trusts and is connected with the people, it is the BJP," Mr Modi said.

India's ruling party lost power in three key states last month, handing Mr Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and boosting the opposition Congress party and its allies ahead of national polls due by May.

Mr Modi said it was more important to focus on his government's achievements, including the introduction in September of a new healthcare scheme for the poor.

He said his party has been discussing what it lacked at the state elections but winning or losing was not the only yardstick. The BJP is willing to work with regional parties in the general election, he added.

"Our effort is to take everyone along and listen to everyone. I am committed to give importance to regional aspirations. "

Mr Modi said farm loan waivers should be "definitely done" if it helps but that was not a long-term solution to the problem of farmer distress.

"What is lacking in our system, that farmer becomes debt-ridden and the governments have to repeat vicious circle of elections and loan waivers. So (the) solution is to empower the farmers. From seed to market, give all (the) facilities to the farmers," he said.

He also said former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel had written to him about wanting to resign, citing personal reasons, several months before stepping down from the office in December.

" I am revealing for the first time, he was telling me about this for the past six to seven months before his resignation. He gave it even in writing. He wrote to me personally".

When asked if there was any political pressure on the governor to resign, Mr Modi denied it.- REUTERS