In a free-wheeling interview with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave insights into his personality, political friendships with the likes of Mamata Banerjee and style of functioning and parted with humorous anecdotes and jokes about Gujarati attitudes towards money.
The interview, which was telecast by news agency ANI on Wednesday morning, had been teased by Kumar as a “non political conversation” that would be a breather from politics and elections.
Modi claimed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, perceived to be one of his most strident critics, personally selected and sent him kurtas every year. He added that Banerjee, whom he called “Mamata didi” had also started sending him Bengali sweets after seeing Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina do it.
Modi revealed that, unlike what is projected by the media, he was close to opposition leaders. Modi told Kumar that he was close to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad before he became chief minister.
Modi told when mediapersons asked him about it, Azad claimed that the relationship between politicians was “familial”.
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When asked by Kumar whether he ever got angry, Modi claimed that he has never had an occasion to get angry with his subordinates. Modi revealed he was encouraging of his subordinates and helped them do their job. However, he admitted that his image of being a strict leader was true, drawing a distinction between being “disciplined” and being anger prone.
Modi deftly parried a question about three wishes he would have if an 'Aladdin's lamp' were presented to him. Modi told Kumar that his wish would be to convince all “educationalists” in the country to put an end to stories of mythical genies and wishes and instead inculcate in children the need to work hard!