With the BJP promoting Narendra Modi as a chief minister to emulate, the Gujarat strongman rose to the occasion at the party’s National Council meeting by speaking like a national level leader.
Unlike other chief ministers who were rattling off facts and figures to highlight their achievements, Modi was several steps ahead — talking about broader issues facing the party and strategies that could be adopted for the coming Assembly and parliamentary elections.
While the CMs of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh lamented the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to them by the Centre, Modi chose to patronise them. He not only lauded their collective performance but sought to boost their morale by saying that none of their counterparts in the UPA-ruled states could match them.
Barely mentioning the work done by his government in Gujarat, which is his theme song at all other public fora these days, Modi instead donned the mantle of a leader of NDA-ruled states by taking up their cause and attacking the UPA for discriminating against them. He advised the leadership to take up this issue in a big way in the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls.
Criticising Finance Minister P.Chidambaram for his frequent claims on the rising economic growth rate, Modi challenged him to examine this performance after separating the collective economic contribution of the NDA-ruled states.
“All the claims about rapid growth achieved by the UPA government will fall flat,” he said. He also targeted the government for its 15 per cent “communal budgeting” proposal for the minorities and called for a countrywide campaign on the issue.