New Delhi, Feb 1 (AFP): The woman who calls herself the wife of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said in a rare interview on Saturday that she doesn't "feel bad" that he has cut her out of his life.
Modi has never commented on numerous reports that he wed Jashodaben, 62, in a traditional arranged marriage when she was 17.
The retired schoolteacher spoke to a newspaper amid intense speculation about Modi's personal life as he leads the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Jashodaben, who goes by one name, told Indian Express that she remains a big fan of Modi, even though she says they split three years into their marriage and since he left "we have never been in touch".
"I know he will become PM one day," she said. Jashodaben said she didn't "feel bad" Modi has never acknowledged her as his wife, adding: "I know he is doing so due to destiny and bad times."
"In such situations, he has to say such things and also has to lie," she said.
Modi kept the wedding secret because it meant he would not be able to climb the ladder of the puritan Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), that frowns on key workers marrying, according to a recent Modi biography by author Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.
The author also claimed the couple's marriage was unconsummated. In 2009, a magazine tracked Jashodaben to the school where she taught but she refused to give an interview, saying she was afraid of her "powerful" husband.
Jashodaben gets a monthly government teacher's pension of Rs 14,000 and leads a reclusive life with her brother in a Gujarat village.
She said the couple "parted on good terms ... there were never any fights," adding: "In three years, we may have been together for all of three months."
She said she reads "everything (about him) I can get my hands on." But, she added: "I don't think he will ever call me."