Bijapur (Karnataka): BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday said India was blessed with three 'Ds' - demographic dividend, democracy and demand for goods and services to make the country prosperous over a decade.
Gujarat chief minister addresses a BJP rally. File pic
"We are the youngest country with 65 percent of our population below 35 years of age. We are the world's largest democracy and we have a huge domestic market to feed. No country has such an opportunity as India to create jobs with human capital and abundant natural resources," Modi said at a rally here, about 500 km from Bangalore.
Cautioning people against voting again for the 'hand' symbol of the Congress, the Gujarat chief minister said the party's slogan - "Congress ka haath, aam admi ke saath" (Congress's hand is with the common man) - has turned into a cruel joke, as it was the very common man who is suffering from price rise, inflation, corruption and joblessness during the party's decade-long tenure.
"The Congress's hand is seen only during elections and vanishes till the next elections. Its leaders are very smart as they first show the hand, then fold hands (to greet you), shake hands (with you) and finally wave goodbye," Modi said, drawing cheers from about one lakh people who assembled from nearby towns and villages.
Polling in the state's 28 parliamentary constituencies will be held in a single phase on April 17.
Lamenting that India was way behind other countries like the US, Japan and Korea in skill development, he said the government should make optimal use of the demographic dividend by empowering the youth with the right skills across sectors to employ them suitably.
Referring to the pervasive corruption in the UPA government, Modi said the Congress had the audacity to promise generation of 10 crore (100 million) jobs in its election manifesto after failing to fulfill a similar promise made in the 2009 election.
"Congress says it will create 100 million jobs in two-three years if elected to power again. A similar assurance in the 2009 election manifesto remained a promise only, as its UPA government could generate just 10.25 million jobs in 10 years as against 70.5 million jobs the NDA government created during 1998-2004," Modi said.
Modi told the gathering how his government had given jobs to 15,000 teachers across Gujarat in a short time by inviting online applications for the posts and asking candidates to scan and send documents for evaluation.
"Without conducting any entrance test or interview, we selected the teachers by making the computer do everything, including short-listing of candidates on merit alone and appointing them eventually without leaving room for corruption," he said.
Mocking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for questioning the Gujarat model of development, Modi said the Congress was "shaking in fear" ahead of the polls as it knows it will be ousted.
"I would like to ask Congress shehzade (prince) if the polls are for electing MPs and political parties to govern the country or electing MLAs (legislators) and a CM (chief minister) in Gujarat. Why is he (Rahul) talking about the Gujarat model?" Modi said.
Modi said the ruling Congress was "scared".
"Why is the Congress so scared, why is the Congress shaking in fear," he asked the cheering crowd.
"The Congress knows its place very well. It knows after May 16 (vote counting day) where its place will be. That is why it wants to stop Modi."
Modi also addressed a public meeting at Belgaum, about 180 km from here, in the northern region of the state during his third visit to Karnataka for campaigning.