Stressing the importance of “branding” and “packaging” in today’s world, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sold himself repeatedly as a person who thinks “differently” and can bring “change”.
Addressing students of Shri Ram College of Commerce here, Modi said his “Gujarat model” of “good governance” shuns “vote bank politics” and stresses on “development politics”.
“The solution to all problems is development. The whole nation has been ruined by vote bank politics, what it needs is development. If there is development, there is much scope for improvement in the nation,” he said.
Modi, currently the beneficiary of growing calls for him to be made the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, slammed the “sense of despondency” in the country. “People feel nothing will change here. All are thieves... People consider it a curse to be born in India. They want to leave the country soon after completing their studies,” he said. “But my thought is different. I am chief minister for a fourth term, and based on my experience, with the same law, same constitution, same rules and regulations, same officers, same people, same files, we can move forward. We can do a lot. I am confident that we can change things.”
Holding up a glass, he said that some would see it as half full, others as half empty, but for him, “it has half water and half air”.
During his hour-long Shri Ram Memorial Oration at the college, which was telecast live by many news channels, Modi did not make even a passing reference to the BJP-led NDA regime or the other BJP governments which his party projects as equally well-governed states.
In what seemed to be a subtle message to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as well as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Modi said the political fraternity should not see the youth merely as “new age voters” nor indulge in such “vote bank politics”.
“For the people from the political world, youth are merely new age voters. I think differently. They should not be treated as new age voters, but new age power that can change things for the better,” the CM said. “India is no longer a nation of snake charmers. We have now become mouse-charmers,” he added.
Highlighting his achievements in the fields of agriculture, industry and the services sector, Modi also gave a peek into his larger vision of running the government, that revolves around “minimum government” and creating