Even as the US stand on granting visa to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi remained unchanged, he reached out to the Indian diaspora through a video-conferencing route.
Modi, while delivering an address at the Annual National Convention of the USA Overseas Friends of the BJP, sharpened his attack on the Congress-led UPA government and demanded a performance report from the coalition for the past nine years of its rule.
“The elections after the Emergency were not fought by leaders of parties,” Modi said. “Neither did papers and pundits influenced them. It was the people’s voice. Like 1977, the year 2014 will be voice of the people,” he said.
Slamming the UPA government, Modi claimed that while under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s governance the growth rate of the country had crossed 8 per cent, the UPA regime has pulled it down to half in the last two terms. “Some ask for the BJP’s vision for the next government,” Modi said. “Even getting the growth rate back to what it used to be at Vajpayeeji’s period itself is a vision.”
He also took a sharp dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that scholars are good for winning debates, but they do not bring about changes.
Modi further said that it was during the NDA era that the world saw India as a nation which would scale new heights in the 21st century, but that dream was shattered after the NDA lost office. Modi alleged that in the last nine years, the nation has moved backwards, which makes it natural for any citizen to feel concerned.
He also lauded BJP chief ministers like Shivraj Singh Chauhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh.“Every government must tell the people what it has done for them. Shivrajji is going to the villages, telling people. Raman Singhji is covering the length and breadth of Chhattisgarh, but see the arrogance of the Government in Delhi. They are in power for nine years but is even one leader of theirs ready to tell the people what they have done?” Modi asked. Taking potshots at his detractors, he said: “As soon as I finish my speech, they will start: Modi said this, this is what is happening in Gujarat; but Modi has answered those people in December 2012, and the masses chose the BJP to serve them.”