Gandhinagar, Sep 5 (IANS) Chief Minister Narendra Modi, widely seen as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, said Thursday that he wants to stay on in Gujarat until 2017.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) immediately said it was not for Modi to decide what his role would be in politics, while the Congress said the chief minister was running scared.
The 62-year-old Modi's surprise statement came at a Teacher's Day event in a Gandhinagar school, in response to a question from a student.
"People of Gujarat have given me the responsibility of serving them till 2017, I have to do only that, will focus all my energy in doing that," the chief minister said.
Modi was re-elected chief minister in 2012 for five years. He has ruled Gujarat since October 2001.
Modi was made this year the BJP's Lok Sabha campaign chief, further fuelling speculation that he is in the race for the prime minister's post.
The BJP leader explained why he wanted to be in Gujarat.
"Those people who dream of becoming someone, for them everything gets destroyed," he said.
"One should not dream of becoming someone, one should always dream of doing something. The pleasure in dreaming about something is totally different," he said.
"People of Gujarat have given me the responsibility of serving them till 2017, I have to do only that, will focus all my energy in doing that."
The Congress said Modi was "scared".
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said Modi's statement was linked to the letter written by jailed police officer D.G. Vanzara, who has blamed the chief minister and former home minister Amit Shah for the many "encounter deaths" in the state.
"He is scared. He knows people of the country will not like to vote for such a person as prime minister," Alvi said.
But BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said: "Modi will not decide. His role
would be decided by the party and the nation. He was just saying about his
role in the state."