Positioning himself as a “decision-maker” and a “trustworthy” person before a group of eminent industrialists gathered in the state capital, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi Wednesday said he is “not born to flee” from decisions. Addressing the national executive committee meeting of the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Modi said, “Responsibilities have to be taken, irrespective of them being good or bad. Today it has become a fashion to flee. People ask me, Modiji why did not you flee from the Patna rally (when bombs went off). I tell them, if I had to flee, Modi would have never been born.”
“No big vision is needed… but somebody has to take responsibility. It should not happen that you are ready to wear garlands, but flee when shoes are hurled. This is the reason for the pessimism prevailing in the country today,” he said. “There was a lot of happiness and expectations among the common man at the beginning of the 21st century. But that period did not inspire us. Had we decide on a course of action, a strategy, an implementation plan, work allocation, resources identification, we would have set a solid foundation for the 21st century. We lost that chance,” Modi said.
Stating that concrete steps needed to be taken to “make the nation trust and believe”, Modi said, “An atmosphere of trust and confidence is needed to be created across the country at the moment. I can say from Gujarat experience… people trust they can come to Gujarat, to work and do business. This trust can overturn many a situation. And so, I say, leadership matters a lot.” Listing three key sectors for sustained growth of the country’s economy — agriculture, manufacturing and services — Modi said the trust that lies broken between the business houses and the government needs to be rebuilt.
Modi mocked PM Manmohan Singh, saying he uses the word “inclusive growth” because he “likes the word”. Taking questions from FICCI members, Modi said that MNREGA needs to be scaled up to create “assets”. “A next generation MNREGA is needed,” he said, asking industrialists not to compromise on “labour dignity and security.” Modi also called for simplification of the existing tax-structure: “The country cannot be run by considering all its citizens to be thieves.”
Still to see if Modi can turn crowds into votes: BJP MLA
Panaji: BJP MLA Vishnu Wagh, who was allegedly attacked in December by party workers over reports that he was joining NCP, Wednesday said it remains to be seen if Modi can translate crowds into votes. “Narendra Modi can draw crowds but we will have to see if he can attract voters,” said Wagh, who represents St. Andre constituency. “A crowd of such high number does not mean all will vote for BJP in Lok Sabha elections,” Wagh said. ENS