Modi Questioned on Whether He Would Contest Elections in 2029

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a country shouldn’t be run on the basis of one person alone when questioned about whether he would contest elections in 2029.

Speaking to Times Now in a wide-ranging interview, Modi, 73 said it was hard to predict what would happen in politics and “no country should run on one man.” Modi has not specifically ruled out running for a fourth term if he wins this time though his Bharatiya Janata Party has an informal age limit of 75 for candidates seeking public office.

“I don’t want this country to run on Modi,” he said. “This Modi himself will not want.”

With Modi widely expected to win a third five-year term in elections that conclude next month, there has been public discussion on how many terms he will ultimately contest. He’s the driving force behind the popularity of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which expects to win a bigger majority in parliament this year than it did in 2019.

In the interview, Modi accused “foreign powers” of attempting to influence India’s elections without saying who they were. He said they wouldn’t succeed.

“There is an attempt by some in the world to influence our elections,” he said. “They are not just giving their opinions but are trying to influence our polls. But they will not be successful.”

Modi choked up with emotion while speaking about his late mother, the prime minister defended himself against critics who say his policies are authoritarian and anti-Muslim. He deflected criticism to the Indian National Congress, the main opposition group, who he said implemented dictatorial policies under leaders like Indira Gandhi.

Assuming a BJP victory, Modi would be the country’s first prime minister to serve three consecutive terms since Jawaharlal Nehru, who ruled India for nearly 17 years following its 1947 independence.

In March, Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah said the government had a strong record under Modi and predicted the prime minister would serve for another decade.

“I can tell you that for the next 10 years, it will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi only,” he said.

(Updates with additional comments from Modi and Amit Shah)

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