Narendra Modi takes on Naveen Patnaik, Third Front, Congress at rally, evokes huge response from crowd

Written by Agencies | Bhubaneswar | Updated: Feb 12 2014, 00:11am hrs
Narendra Modi today tore into Naveen Patnaik government over lack of development in Odisha and mocked the fledgling Third Front, of which Patnaik's BJD is a member, saying its only job is to "save" Congress.

Making his maiden appearance in the state capital in 2014 poll campaign, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said the members of Third Front have "destroyed" every state they have ruled whether it was Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Left parties in West Bengal or BJD in Odisha.

Terming the efforts for cobbling Third Front an attempt to help Congress, he said nine of the 11 parties of the Front have been supporting Congress and they have put on the "mask" of Third Front on election eve.

"Third Front has only one work - save Congress. Time has come to teach them a lesson," he said.

In a no holds barred attack on his party's former ally BJD, Modi invoked former state CM and Patnaik's father Biju Patnaik and said he would have been sad to see what has happened to his state.

Taunting the CM, Narendra Modi said most of the Odiya migrants working in Gujarat were from his home district Ganjam.

"The most appropriate tribute to Biju babu would be to make Odisha a developed state.... I have not come here with promises but intentions," he told a large gathering, urging them to vote for BJP in Lok Sabha elections to help him develop the state once he comes to power at the Centre.

He and Patnaik have been CMs for the last 14 years, he said, adding that while Gujarat had prospered on his watch, Odisha had lagged behind and remains a poor state despite being endowed with rich natural resources.

He said BJP government would bring about development in the state so much so that migrants would come back to the state.

"I vow before you. To help the poor prosper is the top priority of BJP," he said.

Justifying his call for a "Congress-free" India, Narendra Modi pointed out that while the western part of the country had developed substantially, the eastern states continued to struggle against poverty and underdevelopment.

"This is because the western states are mostly ruled by BJP, while the eastern states are mostly governed by Congress and leaders trying to conjure up a Third Front," he said.

"See the progress in states like UP, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and compare it with the development in western states," Narendra Modi said.

The BJP prime ministerial candidate said, if the east has to develop like the west, it was time for the people to teach a lesson to those advocating the Third Front.

Drawing a comparison between Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and his Odisha counterpart, Modi said though both states are equally rich in natural resources, Chhattisgarh has prospered steadily while Odisha lags behind.

Claiming that the BJP's model of development was best, he said, "People have seen Congress' model, Communists' model, regional parties' model and the BJP's model."

"I ask political pundits and economists to compare all these models and tell who did the most for the people. I can bet that only the BJP model is best suitable for development."

Asking people to give him a chance, Narendra Modi said, "You have given them (Congress) 60 years. Just give me 60 months, I will bring development. This is a promise."