Ahmedabad: Hitting out at the Congress-led UPA government over slow growth and lack of development, Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said that the people believe that it is the BJP which can bring a positive and constructive change to the nation.
"The Congress has been in power for nine years but is even one leader ready to tell what they have done for the people," Modi asked while addressing his supporters in the USA via video conferencing.
Raising the pitch for the upcoming general elections, Modi said, "2014 is not being fought by any leader or party; this is being fought by people for their rights and dreams." He went on to claim that the people of India have lost faith in the present government.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Modi said learned scholars are good only for winning debates. "Growth has come down from 8.4 per cent during NDA rule to 4.8 per cent now," Modi said.
Praising the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, he said, "Atal Bihari Vajpayee's six-year term as Prime Minister is an example for the nation. Not only people of this country but also the world saw that 21st century is India's century. After NDA left the office the dream shattered," Modi said.
"Forget moving ahead, we went backwards and that is why it is natural for any Indian to feel concerned," Modi added. The Gujarat Chief Minister also praised the BJP leaders in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh - the states which will elect new assemblies later in 2013. "Madhya Pradesh has generated more power under Shivraj Singh Chouhan than Congress did during their regime," the Gujarat Chief Minister said.
The elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Mizoram will be Modi's first major challenge since he was named by his party as its prime ministerial candidate and is being billed as the semi-final before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.