Narendra Modi: 'Scale, skill and speed' can transform India into a Gujarat

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 7 2013, 16:46pm hrs
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi awed his audience with Gujarat's economic achievements.

The controversial chief minister, who is seen as a presumptive Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, knew what would sell among an audience of students at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC).

Examples and comparisons to countries like Japan, the US and China and how Indians need to improve their "scale, skill and speed" to match their developed counterparts formed part of Modi's speech.

Modi lauded Japanese enterprise when he said the people there started preparations for hosting Olympics in their country eight years before the sporting event.

Drawing comparisons, the Gujarat chief minister said he had organised the Vibrant Gujarat Summit "in which 121 countries participated" in January just ten days after his Assembly election campaign and assumption of office.

He worked his charm on the students, saying India is no longer a country of "snake-charmers but of mouse-charmers", a reference to the achievements of young Indians in the field of computers and information technology.

Asked about her opinion of Modi, Mayank Agarwal, a student of SRCC, said, "Everybody knows what he has done for Gujarat. His vision can transform India."

Asked what they felt about whether Modi should be prime minister, some of the students avoided the issue and underlined his achievements in making Gujarat more prosperous.

"We are commerce students and this was a great experience for us. It is a privilege to listen to Modi. As a leader he has ensured the growth in Gujarat," Aishwarya, a student of SRCC, said.

Others hailed his oratorical skills and described him as "truly an inspiration". One students said Modi's speech was "absolutely moving" for her.

"Whether he will become the prime minister or should be the Prime Minister is not the issue for us," Radhika, another student of SRCC, said.

Another student noted that Modi had motivated his audience to stay in India and do something for the country instead of going abroad.

The Gujarat CM drew applause when he said India should establish a reputation like Japan by aiming for "zero-defect" products and beat the "Made in Japan" articles.

He did not spare the US, which had reportedly denied him a visa, saying our skin colour may be different but Indians are not inferior to the Americans.

Modi played to the gallery and said the achievements made by India have come from the people and not the politicians.

"This country has been destroyed by votebank politics. The country should move on a politics of development," he said.

He called for minimum governance- "Government has no business to be in business"- but also showcased his achievements. "I built the country's biggest Convention Centre in just 162 days," Modi said.

After his address, Modi took a round of the indoor stadium where the programme was held and waived to the students. Some of them sought his autograph.

Delhi police kept the other lot, those young people vehemently opposed to Modi and his brand of politics, a few metres away from the venue. The cops had to use water canon and a mild baton charge to disperse the protesters.