Narendra Modi, who is set to be formally BJP's prime minister candidate soon, was back at doing what he does best on Saturday, directly blaming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress-led UPA government for ills.
A Red Fort replica constructed by Raman Singh government at Ambikapur in north Chhattisgarh where the BJP election campaign president Narendra Modi will address a public rally. HT photo
Send out a message that he is undeterred by his recent political setbacks, including jailed IPS officer DG Vanzara's outburst against him, he forges ahead in his new role for the 2014 polls.
Breaking a lull in his campaign since the Hyderabad rally of August 11, Modi brought back the focus on himself and his stewardship of BJP's Lok Sabha strategy with his signature style speech when BJP and RSS leaders are to take a final call on declaring him as PM candidate next week.
Modi's aggressive stance on Saturday was in contrast to his "tactical retreat strategy" three days ago when he had declared that he does not dream of occupying the top post (of Prime Minister) and would respect the people's mandate for serving Gujarat till 2017.
On Saturday, Modi virtually turned the concluding day of Raman Singh’s vikas yatra into an election mode, seeking third term for his Chhattisgarh counterpart, while citing the Congress as the party displaying arrogance to the hilt.
Sharing the ‘rampart’ of a replica resembling Delhi’s red fort with BJP president Rajnanth Singh in Ambikapur, north Chhattisgarh, Modi blew the poll bugle through a well-scripted show in the poll-bound Chhattisgarh where elections are to be held couple of months from now.
Attacking the working style of the UPA, the Gujarat CM said "Manmohan Singh is a doctor of finance but the rupee currency is struggling while Raman Singh is a people's doctor working for their welfare…While Raman Singh has worked for Chhattisgarh's progress, Manmohan Singh has sent the rupee to the hospital."
He added, "rupee is fighting for its life because of the doctor in Delhi."
Raising the issue of Coalgate, Modi said "not just coal files, but the entire government is missing... There was a debate on missing coal files in Parliament, the Supreme Court is also asking. Parliament is worried but people are asking where is the government...The government is lost, money is lost from the coffers, their honour is lost."
Modi also took a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his comment on poverty being a state of mind.
"The person on whom the Congress is banking on said poverty is a state of mind," he said. "To say that poverty is a state of mind is making a mockery of the poor in the country," Modi added.
Comparing the three states created by the Vajpayee-led NDA government, Modi blamed Congress for turning the issue of Telangana state into disarray.
Knowing well the crucial Sangh-BJP meet to be held a day after for taking a final consultation over Modi as PM candidate, he avoided making any remark on his future political ambition that might be inconvenient to him later.
He joined BJP chief Rajnath Singh on sharing the people's concern over rising prices as they praised Chhattisgarh's food law, welfare schemes and appealed the people to offer another chance to BJP led by Raman Singh.
The BJP leaders felt the UPA’s food act is deficient and can never become a game changer.
Modi's high praise for Chhattisgarh CM more than he extended to any other BJP chief minister as he appreciated Raman for transforming the state to be among the most progressive one despite challenges.
"He accomplished development merely on the basis of people's trust and available resources", he said.
Raman justified his vikas yatra: "It aimed to generate awareness about the development and the welfare programmes launched by the government during the last 9 years. The yatra offered me valuable feedback".
Covering some 6000 km the Chhattisgarh chief minister addressed over 90 public meetings across the state during his yatra, which was flagged-off by veteran BJP leader LK Advani from Maoist-affected Dantewada district on May 6.
With an eye on elections, Singh dedicated and performed bhumi poojan of various welfare and development works worth over Rs. 6500 crore during his 29 days of yatra accomplished in seven phases.
Amid a huge turnout, the state police ensured the extensive security arrangements deploying nearly 1,500 security officials and personnel besides the CCTV cameras.
The team of NSG, special task force and Gujarat police force also were present in and around the venue.
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh who was in Chhattisgarh took a dig over Modi addressing from 'Red Fort' in Chhattisgarh.
"We wish Modi should continue hoisting a flag from such 'Lal Qila'.
Earlier, he has done the right thing on not to dream to be the PM taking a lesson from LK Advani who remained PM-in-waiting".