Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday opened up about the rumours surrounding his name for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in case the saffron fails to get the majority. The senior BJP leader said that he was not in the race for PM and that he is a pure RSS man for whom nation is the priority. Reacting to speculations that in case of a fractured mandate, the BJP may name him as BJP's Prime Minister candidate, Gadkari said it is like “Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne” (day-dreaming).
"I have nothing to do with it. I am not in the race. Modi ji is the PM and will become Prime Minister again. I am from RSS (Main RSS wala hun). Our mission is to work for the nation. Country is progressing in terms of development and growth under Modiji’s leadership. We are standing behind him. Where does the question arise of my becoming the PM," news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
Gadkari asserted that he was not a "calculated politician" and added that the BJP would return to power with a clear majority in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“I have a bad habit ... I tell before 10 lakh Muslims that I am a pure RSS man vote me if you want otherwise do not regret. I have the conviction to say this. I am not a calculated politician. I am a good BJP worker. Country is supreme for me. I work for it. It should be happy, prosperous, strong and become world’s economic power,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari said that his mission is welfare of villagers, farmers and socio-economic transformation and “Under Modiji’s leadership and as per our ideology much work has been done and will be done in future also.”
In reply to a query as to why he was favourite among the opposition leaders, Gadkari said he was a workaholic and believes in hard work. "Whoever comes to me, my thinking remains positive. I tell my officials that he has come to me that means he has some problems so keep positive approach and solve it. Receive (them) nicely and if not possible tell the problems and why it cannot be done. I do not behave as per political calculation. This is my natural behaviour and that is why opponents also becomes my friends," he said.
Asked whether he believed in “Congress mukta Bharat”, he said the ideologies of both the parties are different and “we are not enemies of each other. Difference of opinion can be there... It is our tradition. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jawaharlal Nehru and even Modiji welcomes the opposition party.”
(With inputs from agencies)