As Advani, Sushma rally behind him, Modi hits out at Congress, AAP

Modi said that the upcoming polls are different from the earlier elections.

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2014 12:51 am
Narendra Modi says upcoming polls are different from the earlier elections. (IE Photo: Amit Mehra) Narendra Modi says upcoming polls are different from the earlier elections. (IE Photo: Amit Mehra)

In their last huddle at the party’s National Council meeting before the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP top brass on Sunday projected a united front, with both Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and party patriarch L K Advani stepping up to rally behind Narendra Modi’s bid for prime ministership.

Modi, on his part, tried to silence critics by providing a peek into his vision for the country, while issuing a veiled warning against the Aam Aadmi Party’s national ambitions, saying the people should trust his “track record” on governance and not the “tape record” of AAP’s promises.

Advani, however, cautioned party workers against “over confidence”, reminding them about the party’s debacle in the 2004 elections. While Modi sought to suggest that his vision for India does not discriminate on the basis of identity, Advani reminded cadres about the founding principle of “integral humanism” and urged them to reach out to Muslims, claiming that the party’s attempts in this direction were rewarded in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan recently.

Both Modi and Swaraj criticised the Congress’s decision to refrain from declaring its prime ministerial candidate. “It is a drama similar to that of (Sonia Gandhi’s) ‘voice of conscience’. The Congress has not declared its candidate out of fear. Our leadership is visible, theirs is invisible,” said Swaraj.

“I see a human angle behind this decision. When defeat is imminent, which mother will sacrifice her son politically? The heart of a mother (Sonia) decided to protect her son (Rahul Gandhi),” said Modi.

Playing the “lower caste” card, Modi said, “Woh naamdar hain, main kaamdar hun. (They are from the elite class, I am from the working class). Elites consider it below their standard to fight with the working class. There has been a tradition of higher caste-lower caste sentiments. Why should a person born in higher class contest with one born in backward caste. This is also a reason, apart from the political reason.”

Accusing Modi’s detractors of a sustained campaign to blame him for the Gujarat riots, Swaraj said, “Satyamev Jayate. This is an episode that Narendra Modi had to suffer for the last 12 years… Only a person with self-confidence can remain steadfast on his path. Justice has been done after 12 years.”

Earlier, while party president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had both hailed the court’s clean chit to Modi, Swaraj had remained silent on the issue.

Advani said Modi’s selection as the party’s chief campaigner and his subsequent projection as prime ministerial candidate had enthused the party cadres. His reference to both these events is significant as he had not only skipped the party’s National Executive at Goa where Modi was annointed chief campaigner but also resigned from the party post in protest last June. He had also skipped the party’s parliamentary board meeting at which Modi was announced as the prime ministerial candidate.

“There is a visible change in the last six months, during which he (Modi) was first announced campaign committee chief and then we projected him as our PM candidate…. High ambition is not a crime, low ambition is. I have never seen such enthusiasm and self-confidence. I congratulate Rajnath Singh who decided to make Narendra Modi our PM candidate and set a target of 272+ seats. I do not remember any other leader who has addressed such massive rallies,” said Advani.

He also reminded the cadres about the need to reach out to Muslims. “The Congress had created a sense of distrust in the minds of the Muslim community. But this time, the community expressed its confidence in us in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. I want to tell the Muslim community that all these years they have been used, but have not benefitted,” said Advani, urging party cadres to communicate to the community that “we are for everyone’s welfare”.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. A
    Atul Pratap
    Jan 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm
    Congress sole aim seems to be in power. They distributed freebies and invoke communal hatred for vote bank policy.It's about time India wake up and support BJP to throw out politics of corruption, mis-governance, duplicity, and unaccountability.BJP and AAP should unite to throw out corrupt Congress government. Hope Nitish Kumar, Biju Patnaik, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Chandrababu Naidu, et al. will support BJP and Narendra Modi to form next govt.
    Reply
    1. F
      Farcus Maurelius
      Jan 19, 2014 at 10:27 am
      Modi & BJP released their economic vision today. And all the media seems to be picking on is the Mother-Son rhetoric. Shame on you. Why these headlines are written??See the rest of his speech. There are 5 Ts for "his vision of India"Can we debate that for a change !!!
      Reply
      1. A
        Alphonso D'souza
        Jan 20, 2014 at 10:57 am
        Could not agree more. Modi has divided this nation with violent speeches, reckless rhetoric, incorrect information on Indian History - to the extent that he could not even remember hiji's full name?? How can you have a PM like him?
        Reply
        1. H
          Hunter
          Jan 19, 2014 at 10:44 am
          Has anybody else noticed how pictures of Narendra Modi always have him gesticulating like a caged chimpanzee? I'm sure it's a conspiracy by the Indian secular media.
          Reply
          1. M
            M S
            Jan 19, 2014 at 10:29 am
            NaMo is going to be the PM of the country after the 2014 general elections.
            Reply
            1. H
              Hindustan2014
              Jan 20, 2014 at 5:47 am
              We think, the BJPshould be barred from fighting next general election for subverting theconsution of India. How Mohan Bhagwat, one person of RSS can impose Modi onelected MPS. It is the right of elected MPs to select its leader in Parliament andnot one person or few persons who are not even members of the parliament. Thisis anti-consution of India.
              Reply
              1. C
                Citizenofindia
                Jan 19, 2014 at 9:07 am
                Dear Modiji, I appreciate your thought and atude and expect you to look into gr root matters like basic education, health, road ways, law and order apart from industrialization and foreign affairs. please save india.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Muhmammad rasool
                  Jan 20, 2014 at 1:36 am
                  Inshallah! All Muslims of India will vote for BJP & we too want to be a part of nation building & waiting in ques to be handed out minority-benefits & secularism pamphlets.Do not vote for Cong - Did nothing for the nation (that includes Hindus & Muslims)SP - Mulayam/Akhilesh are not only corrupt they made brother fight against each other in MuzaffarnagarJDU - More than20 riots in 2013 in Bihar. Again, diving Hindus & Muslims.BSP - The most corrupt & arrogant party with no respect for peopleAAP - Nautanki ka daily dose.
                  Reply
                  1. Load More Comments