BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, whose election campaign till now has been marked by attacks on the Congress first family and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but rarely outlined his agenda if voted to power, on Sunday finally articulated his ‘vision’.
His vision spoke about his “idea of India” and a “rainbow” of development to the more tangible 100 smart cities, IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in every State, bullet trains, special courts for black marketeers and even price stabilisation fund. He promised to address the aspirations of growing India, with a prayer: “You have tried them (Cong) for 60 years, give me 60 months.”
Modi, who has addressed 77 elections rallies since his anointment last June as campaign committee chief, got a word of caution from party patriarch L K Advani, who praised his impressive campaign but cautioned the party against overconfidence, as it cost them the government in the 2004 poll.
Modi later tweeted:
Thank you Advani ji for your inspiring words! You have been our inspiration, our guide & with your blessings, Mission272+ will be a success.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2014
Modi’s aggressive pitch on the last day of the BJP’s national council meet was aimed at luring voters, but before unveiling election sops likely to be part of the BJP manifesto, he again launched an attack on his main rival Rahul Gandhi. “Congress has not named their prime ministerial candidate citing precedents, but they have done so fearing defeat... There is a human angle also. When defeat is imminent, which mother will sacrifice her son politically? The heart of a mother (Sonia) decided to protect her son.”
He went on: “They have an elitist mindset and would not like to contest against a chaiwala (tea vendor),” he said in riposte to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s barbs. “Woh naamdar hain aur mai kamdaar hoon (they are renowned, I am a worker),” Modi said.
But what marked his 80-minute speech at the party’s last big meet before elections was his vision. “My rainbow of development would include: heritage, agriculture, women, natural resources (water, land and forests and environment), youth power, democracy and knowledge,” Modi said. He suggested 5 Ts that would guide him — talent, tradition, tourism, trade and technology, and spoke of a governance model that would have the Centre and states working together.