Kolkata: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been on an overdrive for the past one week addressing various meets to articulate his views on various issues before the country and his vision and ideas to make India a developed country. He has used the different platforms to project himself a workaholic, visionary and a leader who has thew vision to transform India.
While Modi hit out at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at the Bharatiya Janata Party's foundation day meet, he reached out to the womenfolk through his address at FICCI Ladies Organisation on Monday. Modi also reached out to the masses through Network 18's Think India dialogue on Monday. On Tuesday, continuing with his mission keeping the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in mind, Modi reached West Bengal where he reached out to industrialists and state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
After resisting from hitting out at the UPA in Delhi, Modi took on the Centre saying it was partial and did not work for the development of the country as a whole. Addressing three chambers of commerce in Kolkata on Tuesday, Modi said, "The central government is not working on development projects. The central government is discriminating between the Congress and non-Congress-ruled states."
From development to external affairs, Modi lashed out at the government on all the fronts, highlighting how his governance in Gujarat has taken the state to places. Boasting of his 5F model, Modi said, "I introduced a new policy - Farm to Fibre, Fibre to Fabric, Fabric to Fashion, Fashion to Foreign. Today we are a revenue surplus state. We have not increased any tax in the past 12 years, only stopped the leakages," Modi said.
At the same time Modi called the UPA government laid-back and questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on not acting on inflation. "A committee has been formed to see how to reduce inflation, it's been over a year that the report has been submitted. The PM appreciated it as well, but we never heard of it again. Recently I asked the PM about the health of the report," Modi said. He said the UPA government does not look at the calendar, but it looks at the watch and waits to watch what happens next.
Promoting Gujarat's model of maintaining its power sector, Modi slammed the Centre's way of handling power crisis in the country. "The Gujarat electricity board was suffering major losses, but today Gujarat has surplus electricity. What has Delhi given to India? It has kept the entire country in darkness. There are coal and power stations, but the power stations do not have coal to produce power and the country is in darkness, the files are lying with the Centre for action," Modi said. "We will introduce a policy to promote solar energy through which every person can have solar panels on their rooftops and sell power," he said.
He tried to woo West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee indirectly by hitting out at the previous Left government in Bengal. He said Bengal suffered a lot due to 32 years of misgovernance. "I believe steps are being taken in the right direction in Bengal but it will take many years," Modi added. He said Bengal was also being discriminated against just like Gujarat.
Modi also took on the UPA government over cross-border relations and Italian marines case. Speaking of India-Pakistan relations, Modi said, "Our soldiers are being beheaded and we are hosting lunch for those responsible and then preaching big things like diplomatic courtesy calls."
Taking a jibe at the government over the Italian marines case, Modi said, "The Italian marines case was a diplomatic issue, yet the Supreme Court had to intervene. A country like Italy was threatening us." "The world laughs at us, we have had a lot of foreign policy failures," he added.
Taking a dig at the Ministry of External Affairs, Modi said, "The External Affairs Minister takes another country's speech paper and begins reading it. If I take out a paper of yesterday's speech and read it out, what will you say?"
Even as Modi took potshots at the UPA throughout his address to the industrialists of Bengal, he maintained that he was not visiting the state with any political motive, but as a student to learn more. He side-stepped questions on his Prime Ministerial ambitions, saying he is an "apolitical person". "I am not a politician," he said, when asked by a questioner about the desire of politicians to aim for the top political post and what was his attitude about it. "A politician may have (the desire to become Prime Minister) but I am not a politician. I am an apolitical person," he said.