Addressing the Indian diaspora in the US through video conference on Sunday, Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi equated the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with the one held right after the Emergency and said that the common man would uproot the Congress-led UPA government in Delhi.
In his nearly 50-minute speech in Hindi, Modi refrained from highlighting Gujarat’s ‘achievements’ and invoked past leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani a number of times while praising former and current BJP CMs like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, Vasudhara Raje Scindia and Manohar Parrikar.
“After the Emergency, elections were fought neither by a political party nor a leader. It was the voice of the common man. The 2014 elections will be similar,” said Modi, addressing a gathering of Overseas Friends of BJP. “This time, elections will be different. Neither a political party nor a leader is going to fight the 2014 elections. It is going to be fought by 125 crore people of India to change their fortune,” Modi said.
Modi criticised the UPA government and said that it was shying away from showing its 10-year ‘report card’. He emphasised that the Congress will have to show its report card to the people during the Lok Sabha elections. He added that instead of showing its ‘report card’, the Congress was keen on highlighting irrelevant issues like what happened in Gujarat. Modi said that he has shown his ‘report card’ to the people of Gujarat and they have elected him thrice ‘with distinction’.
Explaining the BJP’s vision, Modi referred to the six-year tenure of Vajpayee at the Centre. He said that during the NDA’s rule India’s growth rate was 8.4 per cent, which has come down to 4.8 per cent during the UPA regime. He highlighted the nuclear test carried out by India under Vajpayee and added that maximum number of youth got employment during NDA rule. “When the NDA was in power in the later half of the 20th century, it seemed 21st century would belong to India. But with the departure of NDA and arrival