“Desh ka neta kaisa ho? Narendra Modi jaisa ho.”
On his first visit to the country’s commercial capital after being declared as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi stormed Mumbai, targeting the Congress led UPA government over its failure to mend a sinking economy and holding out his promise of development as an antidote.
After being welcomed by and addressing throngs of party workers at the airport, Modi spoke to a gathering after inaugurating the Mumbai Diamond Merchants Association’s Diamond Hall at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Monday.
Ironically, there were more posters of Modi than the BJP-- which believes that his heady Hindutva- development combination will propel them to power—and supporters turned up in shirts bearing his image. While Modi, who was weighed in silver, arrived over a hour late, slogans rent the air and enthusiastic supporters jumped over chairs to get close to the stage. He began his address after earlier speakers were almost forced to cut their speeches short by slogans.
“The country is being destroyed by many evil planets. However, this period will stay for a maximum of eight months…. Exactly after nine months, the country will be on the path to surajya,” said Modi, amidst massive sloganeering, claiming victory for the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
“When the almighty created me, his IT professionals inserted such a software that I can never think small,” boasted Modi amidst cheers by the crowd, while lashing out at the Congress for mismanaging the country and economy.
Alleging that the Congress had been trying to attack and vilify him, Modi said he was “made of that soil from which Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel and Mahatma Gandhi were forged.”
“The people have never left me,” said Modi, pointing to these attacks, adding that this was because “there was never a doubt about his intentions.”
“Today, the country’s condition is such that no one is willing to trust anyone,” said Modi, while asking the crowd whether they believed if Singh had used the strong words alluded to him while meeting his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the US. While the crowd replied with an emphatic “no,” Modi said this was being done to showcase Singh as a gutsy leader.
“The value of the Rupee is falling, the dollar is getting stronger,” said Modi, scoffing at Singh’s qualifications as an economist. He added that the UPA had failed to fulfil its commitment of reducing inflation in 100 days after coming to power and alleged that the people had lost trust in it.
“The political character of Hindustan has changed. Some beta (son) even today lives in the decades of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. They speak in dialogues that their ancestors said in 1980 and 90,” said Modi, in an oblique reference to Rahul Gandhi, adding that the youth of India would not fall prey to casteist and communal propaganda. He said the youth only believed in the mantra of development. “The solution to all problems lies in development,” stressed Modi, adding that the UPA government lacked the vision for this.
“They only have control over the CBI and… Income Tax,” he alleged, charging that the Gandhi family had tried to wipe out the legacy of Sardar Patel.
Charging that the Congress was unfit to run the government and has lost trust of its allies, Modi pointed to the term of the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee led BJP government as a period in contrast.
Relationship between Modi, Shiv Sena improves:
Indicating a thaw in the perceived blow hot blow cold relationship between the Shiv Sena and Modi, the later referred to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as his “younger brother.” Uddhav was present at the function along with wife Rashmi and son and Yuva sena cvhief Aaditya.