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Narendra Modi on 'divider-in-chief' charge: If reference is to crumbling caste and religious barriers, I'm proud

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that many people have been trying to "destroy" his image for over 20 years now, but in the process they have destroyed their own. The prime minister made the remark in an exclusive interview with News18 India's Brajesh Kumar Singh and Amitabh Sinha on Wednesday, where he touched upon several issues including making a veiled reference to the recent Time magazine article where he was named "India's Divider in Chief".

 Narendra Modi on divider-in-chief charge: If reference is to crumbling caste and religious barriers, Im proud

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

Responding to a question on the attempts being made to create his image as a polariser and divider, the prime minister said, "I believe that people are trying to mould my image... They have been working day and night for 20 years in order to destroy my image. Their own images have been destroyed in the process."

The prime minister also said that he doesn't believe in the "divider" narrative while questioning the nature of this so called "divide".

"I pity them, but is this divide horizontal or vertical? And if it is, I don't believe it is," Modi said.

Adding further, the prime minister said, "Today, the poor has become polarised, he is directly identifying with Modi. If the poor wants to benefit as well as the nation, what’s wrong with that? Why do such people get sad? If the poor thinks beyond race, religion, sect and caste, and comes forward for his children’s future and sees the country’ future in his children’s future, we should feel proud."

The BJP had slammed the Time magazine article soon after it was published, terming it an attempt to malign Modi's image while accusing its author, Aatish Taseer, son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer, of pursuing Pakistan's agenda.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had then told a press conference that article's author was a Pakistani and that nothing better can be expected from Pakistan.

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Updated Date: May 15, 2019 21:51:33 IST