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Modi mocks PM’s ‘better times’ remark at NRI meet

Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday took a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while addressing NRIs at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in New Delhi.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2014 00:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,Manmohan Singh,Pravasi Bhartiya Divas

Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday took a swipe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that "better times" will arrive in a few months.

The Prime Minister had said on Wednesday that the country was heading towards "better times" and there is no reason to despair about its present or worry about the future.

He had also pegged India's economic growth at 5% for 2013-14 and said the UPA government's reforms on infrastructure sector and fiscal front are helping India re-emerge as an attractive destination for investments.

Read: PM sees 2013-14 GDP growth at 5%

"The PM said something good yesterday (Wednesday). He said one should not lose hope, good days will be back soon. Maybe we will have to wait four-six months for that, but I am sure good days are ahead," said Modi indicating to the Lok Sabha election due by May.

Modi was addressing Non Resident Indians at the 12th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, the annual gathering of Indian diaspora, in the Capital.

This is the first verbal attack on the PM by Modi after Singh had said that "it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister."

Slamming the UPA government, Modi said that the overall atmosphere of divisive politics, policy paralysis and scandals and corruption have severely hit people's perception and trust in the goverment and its leaders.

Modi also assured the NRIs that India will never let them down and said that "our Indian brothers and sisters should not be weighed in dollars and pounds".

"They have a different work culture, global exposure, knowledge and experience. This experience can take us in a new direction," said the Gujarat chief minister.

Modi made several veiled attacks at the central government, and said NRIs and other investors now want to deal directly with state governments.

He also sought their help to build the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's Statue of Unity.

"We will build the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue so that the future generations remember his contribution to the country," he said.

"Had it not been for Sardar Patel, we may have had to get a Pakistani visa to see Gir lions."

Modi's pet project Statue of Unity has been envisaged as a 182-metre statue of Sardar Patel inside the Narmada River, 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam and Shoolpaneshar Sanctuary.

(With IANS and PTI inputs)

First Published: Jan 09, 2014 11:01 IST