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Train, Truck Rides, Japan Roads: How PM Uses Travel Experience In Politics

PM Modi revealed that he does workshops in various sectors to get new ideas.

New Delhi:

Train journeys in general class coaches, truck rides across the country and travel around the world were among the factors that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said shaped his personal and political life.

“I have travelled through more than 90 per cent of districts of India. This was before I entered politics. I have travelled in train without reservations. I have travelled in general compartments, travelled in trucks. So, I have been connected with the ground realities of the world and that’s a major experience for me today,” he told NDTV’s Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia in an exclusive interview.

The Prime Minister also outlined how his experience of working in a state government helped him in his role at the Centre: “Most of the former Prime Ministers of India were from India. Very few of them worked in the state governments. Those who did work in the state government did it for a very short period of time. I was the Chief Minister of a very progressive state for many years. I was familiar with public aspirations and their conflict with the government. I have a big treasure of experience. I consider myself a lifelong learner. I try to learn from the academic world. I want to learn from those who have bureaucratic experience.”

PM Modi was the longest-serving Chief Minister of Gujarat for twelve and a half years, from 2001 to 2014. He resigned in 2014 to assume office as the Prime Minister.

He also revealed that he does workshops in various sectors to get new ideas.

“When I make the budget, if it’s about infrastructure, I do a workshop on that. If it’s on farmers, I do a workshop. So, I get new ideas from that. I do this both before and after the budget. I am an open-minded person,” he said.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that he takes inspiration from unique things that he sees during his abroad travel and tries to implement those ideas back home.

“I learn things from other countries as well. I visited Japan a few years ago. I was the Chief Minister (of Gujarat) then. I had some time, so I decided to explore the area on foot. I noticed a pathway for the visually challenged. I took pictures of that on my phone. As soon as I landed in Ahmedabad, around 10 pm, I called the city commissioner. I asked him to visit me in the morning. When he came, I showed him the photos and asked him to use them in a footpath that was then being made in the Kankeria area. That was implemented there soon after,” he said.

“I am always eager to learn new things. When I frame policies, I incorporate all these things,” PM Modi added.

In the wide-ranging conversation with NDTV, the Prime Minister outlined the 1000-year vision for the country, predicted a “historic” mandate for the ruling BJP and responded to the Opposition’s “BJP’s 400-paar push is to change the Constitution” charge among other things.

PM Modi is eyeing a record third term in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections which are being held over six weeks in seven phases and ending on June 1. The results will be declared on June 4.