New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday exuded confidence about winning assembly elections in all five poll-bound states- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur- saying that the BJP will emerge victorious and form governments with an absolute majority.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, the Prime Minister said, "I have seen in all states that there is an inclination towards the BJP and we will win the elections with a full majority. The people of all these five states will give BJP the opportunity to serve them."
Reiterating his party's vision of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas', the Prime Minister said that whether it is election time or not, the BJP, despite the fact that it is in power or in coalition, strives for the welfare of the people.
"When we are in power, then with great energy and on a large scale we work with the mantra 'Sabka Saath, Saabka Vikas' (with everyone's participation, we ensure the development of all)," the Prime Minister told ANI.
With political spheres in all five poll-bound states heating up, the Prime Minister denied any atmosphere of anti-incumbency in states where BJP received the opportunity to work, adding that there is an atmosphere of "pro-incumbency."
"Wherever BJP got the opportunity to work with stability, there the environment is of 'pro-incumbency' instead of 'anti-incumbency'. The BJP always emerges victoriously with 'pro-incumbency' in elections," the Prime Minister said.
Citing an example of Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP emerged victorious consecutively in 2014, 2017, 2019 elections- both in assembly polls and Lok Sabha elections, defying the trend of political parties not coming to power again in the state, the Prime Minister said, "The people of Uttar Pradesh have already thrown away the old theory of 'ek bar aao, ek bar jao' (come to power once and then go).
The BJP has itself experienced that it was accepted in 2014, then the people saw our government's work and we again got elected in 2017, and similarly in 2019 as well. Now in 2022, they will again see our work and again accept us."
Noting that the BJP believes in collective leadership, the Prime Minister said that his photos on BJP's hoardings depict the party's workers.
"BJP believes in collective leadership. We are used to working collectively. It is not the picture of the Prime Minister, but it is the picture of the workers of the BJP who are called 'Narendra Modi'," the Prime Minister said.
Considering him at par with party workers, PM Modi said, "To stand with the other party workers fills me with pride. If I feature in a picture with BJP workers, I feel that I also look like them. I believe that I am the same as them. I am not ahead of anybody or above anyone."
The Prime Minister also said that the party has seen victory and defeat both.
"Whether we win or lose, for us, elections are an open university in which we get the opportunity for new recruitment and the chance to introspect. We consider it as a field of the election," the Prime Minister said.
The seven-phase election in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7. Elections in Goa and Uttarakhand will be held on February 14. Punjab will also go into the polls in a single phase on February 20.Election to Manipur's 60 Assembly constituencies will be held in two phases -- February 27 and March 3.