The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday virtually sounded the bugle for the Delhi Assembly elections to be held in November this year at mega rally at the Capital's Ramlila Maidan.
The BJP leaders played to the gallery in their speeches. While Delhi leaders such as Vijay Goel and VK Malhotra focused on local issues, BJP national president Rajnath Singh trained his guns on the central government.
Though the rally's one-point agenda was to discuss local problems, especially power tariff, next year's general assembly polls and national issues formed a major part of Singh's speech.
The rally saw all factions of the party's Delhi unit come together under a single roof to take on the Congress leadership -- both at the Centre and the state. Nearly 50,000 people attended the rally with the crowd spilling over to the nearby roads.
Referring to the killing of Indian army personnel by Pakistani soldiers at the Line of Control (LoC) on August 6, Singh said: "The Congress-led UPA government under the prime minister has grossly compromised the security of the nation."
"Our soldiers are being killed and it is about time the government made an announcement that no dialogue will take place with the Pakistani prime minister at the United Nations General Assembly summit to be held next month," Singh said.
Gujarat chief minister and chairman of the BJP's campaign committee, Narendra Modi, figured quite a number of times in the speech. Singh heaped praise on the Gujarat model of development. "I don't need to praise the Gujarat government but the entire world has acknowledged the good work done there," he said.
Singh expressed confidence of ousting the 'corrupt' Congress government that has been ruling Delhi for the past 15 years. He said even after 15 years of its rule, over one crore people in Delhi were still living without basic amenities.
"This huge rally at Ramlila Maidan has sent a strong message that no power in the world can stop the ouster of this government in Delhi," he said.
He termed inflation as the biggest failure of the Congress government and said, "Only BJP can control inflation and price rise like we had done in the past under Atal Bihari Vajpayee."
The Delhi elections are being viewed as a precursor to the general assembly elections. Keeping that in mind, Singh said, "We should take a pledge to first change the Delhi government in the coming assembly polls and then the Central government in the 2014 general elections," Singh said.