Modi invokes NTR to woo TDP, calls for Congress-free country
By Express News Service | Published: 12th August 2013 08:36 AM |
In his first major rally in the South after being anointed the BJP’s election campaign committee chief, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday made a passionate appeal to the people in general and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in particular to sail with him and rid the country of Congress rule.
Addressing over one lakh people at the Navabharata Yuvabheri (New India’s Youth Conclave) at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here, he made a beginning to expand the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. Indirectly wooing the TDP, which was founded by the late N T Rama Rao, he said, “Congress is a burden on this nation. Today, I want to remember NTR. He did a service not only to Andhra but also the country by helping form a non-Congress government at the Centre.”
Without leaving anyone in doubt on what he was aiming at, he added, “Only a Congress-mukt desh will be a fitting tribute to NTR and the TDP, which has inherited NTR’s legacy, has the responsibility towards this.”
Modi reminded the TDP, a former BJP ally, “Whether anyone walks (with the BJP) today or not, some will walk tomorrow. Congress-mukt Bharat atmosphere has already been created and people have seen this dream and whatever needs to be done for making India Congress-free should be done and all such parties (read TDP) will come together.”
In between, Modi also praised TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who had described him as her good friend. “If the Congress-led governments in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh do not want to learn from Gujarat about skill development, they can at least look at their neighbouring State Tamil Nadu and learn from Jayalalithaa,” said Modi.
The LB stadium, which has a capacity of about 50,000, was packed as BJP workers and mostly youngsters inched their way in to listen to the man of the moment. Outside the stadium, scores of people stood by looking to sneak in. The BJP put up 12 LED screens for the benefit of such people. Modi’s oratory was greeted with whistles, claps and slogans and the entire stadium reverberated with the NaMo mantra. Modi, in fact, began his speech in Telugu much to their delight. He touched upon national issues, starting from the Chinese and Pakistani incursions to the economy.
“Today, you have shops with signs like pure desi ghee available here. Do you know why? Because there is corruption at every level. Did you come across such boards 40 years ago? Then the signboards only used to read desi ghee shops. There are no doctors for the poor, there is no food or clothes or education for the poor. The Congress has snatched food from the poor’s mouth,” he claimed, adding that when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, the poor had enough to eat and there was no concept of food security.
On the Kishtwar clashes, he accused Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s government of concealing the truth.