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Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday came out with his vision for a new India ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, pledging to project the country as a brand worldwide if a BJP government was voted to power.
Modi promised to develop 100 smart cities and set up IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in every state, saying “urbanisation should no longer be seen as the bane of our life but an opportunity to create facilities for all, particularly the poor”.
He put emphasis on several areas from checking price rise and inflation, controlling poverty, ensuring security for women and empowering the poor to developing bullet trains and creating improved health infrastructure to focus on wellness.
Modi’s announcement came a day after several BJP leaders appeared confident at their mega conclave that he was “sure” to handle the onerous task of being the next PM to clear the “huge mess” left behind by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre.
Touting the good governance model that he promised to bring in, Modi highlighted the seven colours of the rainbow — which denote India’s culture, agriculture, women force, natural resources (water, land and forests and environment), youth power, democracy and knowledge.
“For 60 years, you have chosen rulers...I appeal to the people, you have given 60 years to rulers, now give 60 months to this sevak (servant),” he said.
On his plans to build “brand India” to compete in the globalised world, he said his government, if formed, would focus on 5-Ts — talent, tradition, tourism, trade and technology.
Modi said, “We need second generation infrastructure, inter-linking of rivers, gas grid to end fight over (LPG) cylinders, optical fibre network across the country.”
“The (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee government built golden quadrilateral of roads and it was time to build golden quadrilateral of bullet trains as country approaches diamond jubilee of Independence.”
Modi, who wrapped up the mega conclave of his party before the polls, also gave a new slogan to the BJP: “Vote for India”.
He wanted BJP cadres to seek the support of the people not just for bringing the saffron party to power but also for the sake of building India’s future.
Outlining his “ideas of India” using famous Sanskrit sayings, he pledged to work for the welfare of all the people and bring harmony to counter the Congress’ campaign that he is a polarising figure.
He also promised setting up of a national agriculture market and said BJP would deal sternly with black marketeers by constituting special courts to deal with cases related to them and to provide time-bound punishment.
As a weapon to battle inflation, Modi suggested the setting up of a “Price Stabilisation Fund” to help the common man neutralise the effect of rising price.
He said the BJP's priority would be to provide a real-time databank for agricultural produce with the use of modern technology so that India could assess its food requirements and decide its “import-export” policies.
Modi added democracy so far had been “representative”, but now it was time to make it “participatory” with greater involvement of people in governance.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which has formed the government in Delhi and spoilt the BJP’s party in the Capital, is known for laying emphasis on pro-people governance and de-centralisation of power.
Modi wanted strengthening the education sector and centres of excellence, and focus on skill development to help empower the youth of the country. “Once BJP comes to power, it will provide employment opportunities to youth craving for jobs in the country.”
Modi said he would try to protect the country's federal structure — something which the UPA, according to him, has failed to do. Modi said his government, if elected, would not play a big brother to the states.
“We assure to change the situation — not being a big brother or small brother, but both (Centre and states) will take the nation forward together.... The Prime Minister and all chief ministers will be a team which will take the nation forward.”
He also said “if need be, we will amend the law and also set up a task force for bringing back (black) money” stashed in foreign banks.
(With PTI inputs)