New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the people will love him when they know him. Making his point clear on his candidature from Varanasi seat, Modi in an interview to ANI said, "I am not going to Varanasi to defeat anyone. I am going to Varanasi to win the hearts of the people. When people will know me directly, they will love me."
Modi will be contesting elections from two Lok Sabha seats - Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara in Gujarat. Modi said, "The decision from where I should contest has been taken by my party."
On his silence over 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi said, "Media should see how many interviews I have given since February 2002 on this. I gave reply to top editors and journalists. But they did not want to know the truth, they were doing a conspiracy against me."
He went to the extent of saying, "If any iota of charges are proved against me, please hang me in the open."
In a bid to prove his innocence, Modi said, "I have crossed all hurdles that can prove me innocent. I have now moved forward. I have written a full blog on Gujarat riots. I am accountable. Public has the right to know about me."
But there are two more issues that are still being raised against Modi - his refusal to wear a skull cap and the puppy remark. On the issue of refusing to wear a skull cap, Modi said, "I follow my own traditions though I respect tradition of others." He even gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel saying they never wore a cap.
He even asked whether Congress President Sonia Gandhi ever wore a cap and said there should only one lens to see everyone. He even said that the issues would not have been raised if he had lost elections.
Reiterating his point on puppy statement, Modi said, "My remarks were misinterpreted. Even the interviewer took on to Twitter to clarify that the statement was not what it is being perceived."
On the issue of change in the leadership in the BJP as senior leaders like LK Advani, MM Joshi, Lalji Tandon have been sidelined in the party, Modi said, "This is now an old issue, we have moved ahead. There will be no effect of this. I am seeing people's confidence. Senior and experienced leaders give us guidance."
He also said, "Today BJP is a party which can be seen in every party of the country. People should get our of old mindset. BJP used to be called Bania-Brahmin party, cow belt party all this has changed now."