Modi woos young voters
By Express News Service | Published: 18th November 2013 12:12 PM |
Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday continued his attacks on the Congress-led government at the Centre, but spent more time reaching out to the youth, particularly those in the IT sector, and batting for the middle class.
In a speech that lasted exactly one hour, Modi criticised the UPA government for “trying to stifle the spirit of democracy”.
But he desisted from personal attacks. There was no reference to Shahzada (Rahul) nor ridicule of Madam (Sonia).
The impact of his speech might have been limited as he addressed the gathering in Hindi and BJP leaders didn’t translate it into Kannada.
He was all praise for Bangaloreans and the people of the state for their achievements in the knowledge sector.
“Because of your effort and brains, Bangalore has become the second biggest IT hub after Silicon Valley in the US,’’ he said to thunderous applause from the crowd. He recalled the contribution of the NDA government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee in promoting IT.
Modi, who landed at the Palace Grounds in a chopper from HAL Airport about 30 minutes late at 12.40 pm due to inclement weather, was received with a “Modi, Modi’’ chant from the crowd, some of whom had come as early as 7 am.
Impressed by the sea of people, Modi praised the rank and file of the Karnataka BJP for putting up a strong show. “Our leaders here tell me this is the biggest rally in the political history of the state. I am blessed to see a sea of saffron here,’’ he said.
Starting his speech in Kannada, Modi greeted the people by saying, “Bengalurina, Karnatakada bandu baginiyare, nimagellarigu nanna namaskaragalu.’’
Then, he offered his respects to Bangalore founder Kempegowda, social reformer Basaveshwara, saint poet Kanakadasa and Kittur Rani Chennamma.
After this, he got down to business, accusing Congress of derailing economic reforms introduced by the NDA government. He said the poor state of the economy was a result of the UPA government’s failure to address issues like price rise and unemployment and its focus on creating vote banks by targeted programmes for minorities and lower economic classes.
“Congress thinks that there are only lower economic classes in the country and neglects the majority middle class,’’ he alleged and asked the crowd whether the middle class was not paying their taxes. “Tell me my friends, don’t you deserve better living conditions?’’ he asked the crowd who in turn responded, “Yes’’.
Ridiculing the Congress for its definition of poor, Modi said, “They think whoever earns more than `30 a day is not poor. These days, one cannot even buy 300 grams of onions for `30.’’
‘Cong Lost Connect with People’
Alleging that the Congress had lost its connect with people, Modi said they were living in a glass house.
“They are indoor players, we are outdoor players. They will be decimated in the Lok Sabha polls,” Modi claimed.
“We believe in democracy and youth while Congress is anti-democratic and treats youth as a mere vote bank,’’ he said.
He also alleged that the Congress had become intolerant to any dissent voice due to growing insecurity.