Modi addresses first press conference in five years, takes no questions

Divider-in-chief’ Modi says he is proud if the tag is about the poor moving beyond caste religion

Narendra Modi. | PTI

He said there was a time when the Indian Premier League (IPL) had to be shifted out of India due to polls, but under the current government, elections could be held even when Ramzan was being observed and Easter commemorated, Ram Navmi celebrated and board exams held. He said he was constrained to say that among all the institutions undermined by the BJP, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had also been emasculated as an independent watchdog.

PM Modi gave a speech during the press briefing, and did not take any questions.

He said India should impress the world with its diversity and democracy.

Shah said his only regret was that while the Modi government had convinced people about the purity of its intent and its hard work, it had failed to convey this to the media which remained unconvinced. Addressing the ebullient gathering, Priyanka told people that it would have been great if they had chosen veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan as the prime minister. "It will happen after a long time in the country, our government will come to power with absolute majority for the second consecutive time", he added.

Laughing about the decimation of the opposition in the 2014 elections, Modi said, "On May 17 in 2014, there was a big casualty".

"To take the country forward, we have said a lot of things in the manifesto".

"We ensured last-mile delivery, which was a new structure of governance. Five years ago on 17 May, many were ruined: because they put their faith in gamblers and the satta market which had predicted that the Congress would get 150 seats and the BJP would get 218", Modi said, adding his government would return with full majority once again. "It is not necessary for the PM to answer every question".

At his interaction, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP government had marketing and television but truth was on the side of the Congress. Elections were held in a positive spirit.

He responded to the very first question saying: "I am a disciplined soldier, the party president is everything for me".

"Any comments and or statements made on Gandhi or Godse are absolutely wrong", Modi told Indian media Friday.

Earlier in the day, speaking at one of his final poll rallies in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, Modi asserted that the ongoing Lok Sabha battle was to decide the future of not a political party but the country, he said he expected the BJP to win more than 300 seats. The results for all phases will be released on May 23.

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