If anyone other than AB Vajpayee can manage a full house at a BJP conclave, it is Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. That is what he did at the fag end of the party national council's first day session on Saturday, even though the subject was not one he is usually associated with, having nothing to do with Hindutva or Muslims.
Asked by BJP president Rajnath Singh to give an account of his government’s achievements, Modi broke into his now familiar “development agenda”. Significantly, he was not called upon to speak on the resolution adopted by the council against what it called the Centre’s “disastrous” policy of Muslim appeasement.
Modi said he wished to challenge “pseudo-secularists” and “neutral” experts to see for themselves the development work done by BJP governments. “Whether it is Gujarat, Rajasthan, or Chhattisgarh, I can claim with authority that BJP governments have a record in efficiency, transparency and speedy decisions.” Modi claimed Gujarat topped the list of states implementing the 20-point programme for poverty amelioration, a Congress scheme.
He accused Finance Minister P Chidambaram of trying to confuse people by his claim of eight per cent growth every four months when it is Gujarat alone that reports 10 per cent growth consistently.