BJPs prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday exhorted people to rise above party politics and vote for India. Addressing an impressive rally at Bandra Kurla Complex here,Modi said,It is my ardent appeal that people should vote for the country and not party. Vote for India is what I would like to say.
Modi,who began his speech in Marathi,outlined critical issues ranging from black money in banks abroad,price rise,corruption and unemployment that would form part of the BJPs electoral manifesto for the general election.
The underlying theme of his speech was good governance and in an effort to show that there was perfect bonding within the party,the Gujarat Chief Minister emphasised the model adopted by his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
On the issue of black money,he emphasised the initiative of L K Advani who had led a delegation to give in writing to the government that not a single leader in the BJP has put black money in banks abroad.
Modi ensured that he toed a moderate line. He,however,made it an exclusively BJP show,skipping any reference to allies,including the Shiv Sena.
Striking an emotive chord,Modi equated BJPs efforts to dislodge the Congress-led regime at the Centre to 1942 Quit India Movement against the British rule that began from Mumbai. He said the single message that should go out from Mumbai was Congress-free India in the same way as the country gave Quit India call against the British rule.
The hour-long speech was an attempt to connect with the urban and rural masses assembled from across Vidarbha,Marathwada,north Maharashtra,western Maharashtra,Mumbai and Thane. Two days after his Varanasi speech which was loaded with Hindutva agenda,Modi skipped it here and instead dwellled on development issues.
Though he did not make any reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi,he targeted AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhis call for combating corruption. I am appalled at the manner in which they speak on corruption…how can a big Congress leader (Rahul) talk of corruption when Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Maharashtra outrightly rejected the Adarsh Commission report because it indicted their ministers, he said.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister,he said,Manmohan Singh announced he had shortlisted 90 districts of Muslim majority for development. When some one recently asked the Centre about the progress report the reply was not a single rupee was spent on the scheme envisaged for Muslim welfare.