The Gujarat strongman, who is positioning himself as a national leader and BJP's prime ministerial candidate for 2014, seems to have found his poll slogan — “Ek Bharat, Shereshth Bharat (One India, Best India)”.
"Nothing less than India's wellbeing should be our goal and if this happens, secularism will automatically run in our blood.”
The address was organised by the Overseas Friends of BJP and viewed live in New Jersey and Chicago, US states with significant presence of Indian-Americans.
It gave Modi the chance to speak to Indian-Americans after Wharton India Economic Forum suddenly withdrew its invitation to him to address its annual conference on India after a "furious" protest by some faculty members and students. The US continues to deny him visa over the riots though EU countries have re-engaged with him after a 10-year boycott.
The event was planned much before Wharton withdrew the invite.
Gujarat was showing the way to the rest of the country by making development an election issue. The 2012 election verdict, he said, was a victory for development.
Switching to English sometimes in his 50-minute speech, he said India could become a world leader with confidence in its abilities. "We can and we will," he said.