Narendra Modi gets a rousing reception in Mumbai

After a rousing rally in New Delhi, Mumbai was the next stop for Narendra Modi. However, his maiden visit as the BJP prime ministerial candidate to the city wasn’t a political rally. He had come to Mumbai to inaugurate the Diamond Hall at Bharat Diamond Bourse in Bandra-Kurla Complex.

Narendra Modi
Rousing welcome: Crowds thronged the airport to catch a glimpse of Narendra Modi. He was welcomed with chants of ‘Modi, Modi, Modi’ before he made his way to BKC for a speech. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and BJP deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde were also present at the function. Pics/Shadab Khan

However, for those present there, the inauguration could have easily been mistaken as a rally, as Modi didn’t let go of an opportunity to slam the Congress and exhort voters. His great oratory skills were displayed during his speech during which he covered all topics under the sun -- from praising diamond traders, to slamming the UPA, and women’s safety.

What’s my value? Modi was weighed against 95 kg of silver at the gathering. Modi said the silver would be contributed towards the construction of the Sardar Patel statue. The statue will be double the size of the Statue of Liberty and will be called the Statue of Unity.

'Diamonds shine'
Modi began his speech by praising the traders. He said, “I thought diamond sellers had lost their shine. But today, I realised the sellers are as strong as the diamond. But the diamond has been facing problems for the last nine years. The problem is here to stay only for eight months and exactly in the ninth month, this country will destroy all problems and will lead.”

Faith lost
Modi also said that the common man had lost faith in the UPA. “The country’s situation is such that no one trusts anyone. If a family loses trust, then that family, that society, that country cannot stand again.”

Women’s safety
And at a time when women’s safety is of utmost priority, Modi also used the issue to slam the government.

Addressing the failure of the UPA, he added, “When a girl leaves her house, the mother calls her repeatedly to check whether she has reached safely. Because there’s no proper governance. The government in Delhi is sitting unaware of the events. It doesn’t even know why it is placed there.”

‘Google me’
“Go to Google guru and take a printout of all the things said against me... This auditorium will also fall short of space. But, despite this, the people have always supported me.”

Dig at Advani?
Modi said, “Indian politics still has people who are living in the 80s and 90s and think the youth still fight over caste and religion. No, the youth needs development and nothing else.”

These words raised
eyebrows as they wondered if Modi was taking at jab at L K Advani.

Where’s the vision?
According to Modi, India lacks vision. “What do we discuss after budget: relief in income tax or the status of the Sensex. We need a vision for the country.”

Cong controls CBI
Modi also took out time to slam the CBI, saying that the Congress controlled it. “Tonight they will watch video of this event. Who shook hands with me, who garlanded me... they will be on Income Tax department’s radar. Does a government function with such vendetta? But Modi is made of different stuff. I am made of the soil from which Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi were made.”

Brand India
After the rousing speech at BKC, Modi was also the keynote speaker at a dinner for top ad executives from India and abroad. “The challenge in projecting Brand India to the world is that we don’t have confidence in our product,” he said. “We should recognise our strengths to be able to market ourselves,” he added saying, “For instance, Kalidas is compared with Shakespeare, but we should be saying Shakespeare is like Kalidas; we need to promote our work.”

He also thinks that India lost a huge opportunity, when it comes to using the film industry to showcase India on the global map. “Had I been in power, I would have used the film industry’s 100 years as an opportunity for branding India, but we lost out on it,” he said.  

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