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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he considers himself an outsider in politics and that he is not a politician from within.
"I entered politics rather late. A lot of people are not able to accept it," he said during an interaction with students in his 'Pariksha pe Charcha' programme here.
"I am in the political system but I am not a politician by nature. My nature is to do something."
The remark came when he was asked by a Class 11 student if he was ready for his board exams - the next Lok Sabha election.
Modi said he had the "blessings" of 1.25 crore Indians and election results were just a "by-product" of the work he does.
"Are you prepared for your exam or are you a bit nervous?" asked Dilip, a student from Delhi's Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya.
Modi responded: "I always believe that you keep studying, trying to learn, and keep all focus on learning. Make the student inside you as energetic as possible. Make this your lifestyle... Exam, result and marks should be a by-product.
"You have done your work, the result will come. If you go by marks, you may not achieve what we really want... I work on the same principle in politics.
"All my time, energy and strength and mental capability, all should be spent on the 1.25 crore Indians. Elections will come and go, they are all by-products," he said.
Modi added: "Our situation is such that you have exams once in a year, we have exams 24 hours in a day."
He recalled how the Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lost all the seats in a Gujarat election.
"They had 103 candidates. Whoever wanted to fight was given ticket. Out of 103, the security deposit of 99 was forfeited.
"Four candidates survived. With their deposit money, they had a party and distributed sweets."
He quoted a line from a poem of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee - 'haar nahi manunga' (I will not accept defeat).
"Everyone should have such thinking," Modi added.