The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi made no bones about his central nature in the campaign to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections accusing the Congress of worrying about him rather than the problems of the country. He also made a veiled reference to efforts from multiple quarters to keep him at bay politically.
Addressing one of his two rallies in Karnataka on Sunday, on the eve of the Ugadi festival in the state, Modi put himself in the spotlight barely making a reference to the BJP’s two term MP from Belgaum, Suresh Angadi, whose campaign he came to bolster.
“Day and night I think of how to solve the problems in the country, how to counter poverty, how to control price rise, how to meet the aspirations of youth and women. I seek solutions for the country and they are trying to find a solution to me,’’ Modi said.
“I say stop price rise, they say stop Modi. I say stop poverty, they say stop Modi. Their aim is to stop me, my aim is to take the country forward,’’ the Gujarat Chief Minister said.
In a veiled reference to opposition to his role as the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP from both within the BJP and from other political parties, Modi said the entire political constellation was scared of the verdict the people of the country will deliver on May 16.
“For the first time they have all united to keep Modi away from Delhi. They don’t want the CM of a small state in the country to be in Delhi. They are scared about where they will be when the results are out on May 16,’’ Modi said.
The Gujarat CM announced that he proposes to bring back black money stashed away in foreign economies by Indian politicians and that he would use the money to reward citizens who have dutifully paid their taxes over the years.
“The honest must be rewarded, the dishonest must pay up,’’ he said.
Attacking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for claiming to have a roadmap for the infrastructure needs of the country, Modi said that he was not the kind of man to have a map for infrastructure only in his mind. “If voted to power I will do my best to improve infrastructure. No decisions will be taken with bad intent. I come as a sevak I will work as a sevak,’’ he said.
The Gujarat CM said that his campaign was building into a tsunami as predicted by him. “Those who have looted the country will be finished in the tsunami. This time people will pick them out and finish them,’’ Modi roared.
The Gujarat CM also attacked the Congress and its vice president Rahul Gandhi, whom he called “Shehzada’’, for reportedly calling Gujarat’s development credentials a bubble. He accused the Congress of being unwilling to face questions on their achievements in tenure of a decade.
He compared the Congress answers to questions on their achievements as being replies to an eighth standard exam paper when the exam was demanding answers for a masters’ program.
“In a democracy the elections are like examinations. Parties have to give answers for what they have done in power,’’ Modi said.
Earlier speaking at a rally in the neighbouring Bijapur district Modi labelled the recently released Congress manifesto a “dhokha patra’’ or a fraud.
He also pilloried Rahul over the bubble remark by referring to a ranking given to Gujarat by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation which is headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“If you think the Gujarat model is a balloon I want to ask if you trust your mother. The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation whose chairperson is your mother, that foundation had declared Gujarat number one. Do you see a balloon in your mother’s talk? Does your mother also release balloons,” Modi said.
Rahul had recently called the Modi lead BJP campaign a “new heavier balloon” filled with “gas” than the BJP’s campaigns in 2004 and 2009. “They (BJP) had made a balloon of ‘India Shining’ in 2004 and 2009. The people of India deflated it twice. This time they have blown a new, heavier balloon, the Gujarat model balloon filled with gas which will burst again,” Rahul had said.
“You, your party and 18 CMs came to Gujarat in 2002 and spoke a balloon of lies that was not accepted by the people of Gujarat. You did it in 2007 and in December 2012 but the people of Gujarat did not believe your lies. They saw the development,’’ Modi added.