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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Spooked by 'trailer'? PM Narendra Modi addresses fears of change in Constitution

'When I say that I have big plans, no one should be scared. I don’t take decisions to scare or run over anyone. I take decisions for the wholesome development of the nation,' Modi said in an interview to news agency ANI, days ahead of the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections

J.P. Yadav New Delhi Published 16.04.24, 06:23 AM
Modi at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, on Monday.

Modi at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, on Monday. PTI photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said “no one should be scared” of his statement that the last 10 years were “just a trailer” and he had “big plans” lined up for his third term.

The remark was seen as a deliberate attempt to counter allegations of the Opposition that the BJP planned to change the Constitution.

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“When I say that I have big plans, no one should be scared. I don’t take decisions to scare or run over anyone. I take decisions for the wholesome development of the nation,” Modi said in an interview to news agency ANI, days ahead of the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

He was responding to a question that though his “big plans in third term” statement had made BJP supporters euphoric, it had made some sections “nervous”.

“Governments always say we have done everything, but I don’t believe I have done everything. I have tried to do everything in the right direction, yet there is so much I need to do because I see that my country has so many needs…. That is why I say this is a trailer,” he said.

Modi’s clarification comes amid ground reports suggesting that the cry for “400-paar”, a call for brute majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, has instilled fear among sections of Dalits and tribals of a change in the Constitution to end the benefits of reservations.

The fear has gained traction with the Opposition constantly alleging that Modi was planning to change the Constitution in his third term, using the “400-paar” cry, along with repeated declarations at rallies that “abhi to yeh trailer hai” (this is just the trailer). BJP’s opponents have also raised fears of India’s diversity coming under attack if Modi returns to power with a big majority.

“The problem lies with them (Opposition). They want to cast the country in the same mould. We worship diversity. We celebrate it,” Modi said.

Modi spoke extensively on diversity, stressing that it is India’s strength. “India is a country of diversity…. Viewing India as different units is mindlessness,” he said.

“Which part of India has the most number of villages associated with Lord Ram’s name? Tamil Nadu…. How can you term it a separate (unit)?… There is diversity. An individual from Nagaland will not be like a person from Punjab. A person from Kashmir will not be like a Gujarati. Diversity is our strength, we should celebrate it. India is a bouquet where everyone can see their flower,” he added.

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