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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Modi targets Rahul, Vadra in his rallies

Siddhartha Rai, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, April 03, 2014
First Published: 21:53 IST(3/4/2014) | Last Updated: 23:50 IST(3/4/2014)

Turning a public speech into an interactive dialogue with spectators, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was at his acerbic best on Thursday as he attacked the Congress over a host of issues, including corruption, unemployment, power crisis and women's safety at Gurgaon's Leisure Valley ground.

"These elections are interesting: people know the outcome from the day elections were notified," he said.

Conscious of the fact that he was speaking in the vicinity of Delhi, he wanted to push the message across clearly. "I am speaking today close to Delhi, the city which was the queen of India and now has become the rape capital under the Congress dispensation," he said.

Addressing an estimated lakh-strong gathering of people, Modi launched a veiled attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

In an obvious reference to Gandhi, he said, "In an interview the 'shehzada' (prince) said he has the blueprint for infrastructure ready in his mind. Point is if the Congress took 60 years to draft the blueprint, it will take another 600 years to implement it."

Amid cheers from the crowd, Modi exhorted people to go in for change on a sure footing.

"Give yourself a strong government by giving us over 300 seats so that we don’t have to dance to the tunes of people at the political backstage (allies). This election is not about just changing the current government, but punishing it for its misdeeds and cheating," he said.

"The Congress government cheated you on all issues: employment, inflation, power security and corruption. Its manifesto is a bunch of lies to mislead you. My principle is clear: I don't indulge in corruption, nor do I let anyone," he said.

He requested people to bless him for the vision of change that he wanted for the country. "Bless me for the vision I have. I have not sold the nation, only tea. I know your plight as nothing in the country has changed for good, your lives, villages and cities. What has changed, is the lives of the rulers. This government is a rule of contractors," he said.

Modi ended his speech with the request that people should give him 60 months when they had given the Congress 60 years. "I will accomplish what they have not in the past 60 years in just 60 months. I assure you," he said.

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New Delhi, 1984. New York, 2014.

In my parent’s bedroom is a framed photo that seems a bit out of place. The small image has an aged yellow tint and displays my father at the young age of 24, standing proudly atop the GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi, India. He looks just as I do now. Tall, skinny, his not-yet full beard kept neatly on the sides of his jaw as he sports a clean pair of glasses and a neat turban matching his shirt. That year (1984), my father was in his medical residency pursuing a specialty in anesthesiology. His eyes shine of dreams of the success that would come from his hard work in the future. However, what could not be captured in the photograph is what my father had seen in that year, 1984. Writes Manmeet Singh Gujral
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