BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who had so far limited his attacks on the ruling Congress party, for the first time took potshots at his new adversary, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), suggesting that governance was not merely appearing on TV, but working on the ground.
Without naming the AAP, Modi said his party had more “jewels” who have a proven track record and were known for their simplicity and work ethic.
Modi returned to Goa after June last year when the process of anointing him first among equals was started. His Goa rally had many firsts, even as he singled out former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan for alleged corruption in the ministry. The BJP’s hindutva icon also gave a glimpse of what his governance model would be if he were chosen for the top post. “Decentralization,” he said.
But the main takeaway from his lucky venue was his jibe at the AAP.
“Imagine if Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were to work in Delhi. How simple is this man. But the media cannot see beyond Delhi… There are many jewels (he said referring to Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan, and Chattisgarh CM Raman Singh). Even I have been working for 12 years. Country does not need faces on the TV. Country has to decide if they want face on the TV or work on the ground,” Modi said at the well-attended rally.
If his attack on the AAP’s style of functioning was oblique, his attack on the Congress was more direct. He singled out former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan for holding up environment projects, and suggested largescale corruption in the green ministry.
“We have heard about income tax, sales tax, excise tax. But there is one Jayanthi tax. Until you pay Jayanthi tax, files did not move in the ministry… nothing moved in the ministry without money,” Modi said in his frontal attack on the Congress leader.