August 16, 2013 10:18:59 pm
Positioning himself as his partys prime ministerial candidate without waiting for a formal BJP announcement,Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today stepped up his attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a range of issues,especially national security.
He challenged Singh to a public debate on governance,saying the nation was restless for change.
In his 50-minute Independence Day speech in Bhuj,Modi did not name Singh but addressed him as Pradhan Mantri 49 times and aap or aapne 46 times.
Aap ek parivar ki bhakti mein itna doob gaye ho ki desh ki 125 crore ki janata ko bhool gaye ho (You are so busy in the service of one family that you have forgotten 125 crore people of the country), Modi said,alluding to the Gandhi family while taking a swipe at Singh.
Describing the Prime Ministers speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort as uninspiring,he accused him of being silent on the issues of inflation,jobs for youth,power outage in 19 states,and promises made by UPA-I in 2004.
In his address to the nation last evening,the President said he was sad at the way Parliament was functioning. I understand the Presidents concern since the Prime Ministers own party has not been allowing Parliament to function, Modi said.
The President says patience has limits. What is the limit,where is the border line? It has to be decided by the government in Delhi. How long will we be patient? The question is not of Pakistan alone. Today,national security is under threat. The Chinese intrude into our land and we keep mum. When Italian soldiers come and kill our fishermen,when Pakistanis behead our soldiers,we get concerned.
I know the constraints of the Prime Minister due to imperatives of international relations and the need for good relations with neighbours. Lal Qila is not the place to challenge Pakistan but it is definitely the place from where the morale of Indian army can be raised… From here,my voice will be first heard in Pakistan and then it will reach Delhi, Modi said,adding that many in the media had been saying since morning that this could be the last address by the Prime Minister from the Red Fort.
Daring Singh to a debate,he said: I run the administration of only a state but you run the entire country. Let there be a direct competition between Gujarat and Delhi in achieving development and see who is ahead, he said.
He blamed Singh for the current economic situation: Prime Minister,you have referred to former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao while talking about the prevailing economic condition of the country. But I want to ask you who is responsible for the way the rupee is getting devalued,the way it is heading towards crisis.
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