Urging BJP workers to oust the ruling Congress in the 2014 general elections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday slammed the central government for not keeping the nation’s interest in mind.
Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) two-day national council meet, Modi launched a direct attack on the Nehru-Gandhi family, saying it kept its own interests above the nation.
“The country is sinking. The poor are under the burden of price rise. We cannot even feel if there is a government at the centre or not,” Modi, possible contender for the prime ministerial post, said.
“The Congress has ruled the country for several decades. At that time there was no opposition, the media was not so strong and there were not so many activists. But what did the Congress do? At that time many countries were trying to rise. India lagged behind. Why? Because they (Congress) never wanted the country to develop,” Modi said.
Without naming any one, he launched a direct attack on the Nehru-Gandhi family, vis-a-vis Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi: “Sacrificing the national interest for the interest of one family is the tradition of the Congress,” he said.
“They appointed a night watchman by naming Manmohan Singh as prime minister. Had Pranab Mukherjee been prime minister, there would have been less destruction in the country,” Modi said.
“Had Pranab been successful, what would have happened to the family?” Modi said. “Freeing the nation from the Congress rule would be an act of patriotism. It would be a task as great as that our freedom fighters did,” Modi said.
He stressed on the need of inculcating hope and aspirations in people, saying that a BJP-led government at the centre would act as a facilitator for those aspirations. Praising the BJP and focussing on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi said that the BJP was the only alternative for the Congress “misrule”.
‘Congress has spread like termites’
Setting the stage for a likely national role in the BJP, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday hit out at the Congress, terming it a termite even as party leaders emphasised unity, discipline and clean image for success in the upcoming elections.
Modi mainly spoke on national issues as he attacked the Congress and its top leadership repeatedly. “The government in Delhi is a challenge to BJP workers. Such a government exists while we are there... this is not acceptable to us. Price rise is killing the poor,” Modi said.
“The Congress just does not have the spirit to take the country forward. Other countries have overtaken us. It has sacrificed interests of the country to that of one family,” he said.
“The Congress has spread like termites in the country. It is very difficult to get rid of termites. Only one medicine will work, that of the sweat of the BJP worker,” Modi said.
Exhorting party workers to strive to unseat the Congress in the next general elections, Modi sought to downplay his own role as a possible prime ministerial candidate.
“Who is the person, who is not does not matter in the BJP,” he said, while giving credit for his third straight victory in Gujarat to party workers, the state’s people and the party’s national leadership. Training his guns on the Gandhi family, he claimed that the Congress had appointed Sitaram Kesri as party president so that no one emerges as a threat to “the family”.
“It appeared that a night watchman had been put in place,” Modi said, adding that when the turn came to chose a prime minister after 2004 polls, another “night watchman” was appointed. “They did not know that the night would last this long,” he said referring to Manmohan Singh completing nine years in office.