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'I knew I was swimming against the tide’

January 21, 2008
Taking a dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s recent illness, he said, “The Gujarat poll results came and Sonia fell ill. But the whole of Gujarat prayed for her.”

Trying to explain his win, Modi said, “A lot had happened during this election, my friend. But I will draw your attention to one thing in particular.

In our country, some people have created an atmosphere. They have invented a theory and created examples to convince themselves into believing their own theory. These people would have us believe that good governance is bad politics. They would have us believe that development won’t win any votes. Instead, they lay emphasis on coalitions and caste and vote bank politics. The nation was rooted in this for over five decades. I shook it up. I disproved what everyone believed for 50 years and proved that if our nation has to change for the better, we have to shun these shortcuts,” he said.

“I knew I was swimming against the tide. I knew I would be assaulted by problems. I knew I would be surrounded by trouble. But I decided that if I have to die fighting this battle, I would do so on the streets and not on a hospital bed,” he said, stressing that it is high time Indian politicians shunned caste-based and vote bank-based politics.

“This is the beginning of a new history,” he said, adding that the people wanted, “good governance, a new direction, a new ethic.”

Image: Over one lakh people turned up to hear Modi speak.

Also read: Complete Coverage: The Gujarat Elections
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