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Modi lashes out at Cong, pitches for the big role

Sniffing growing support among party cadres for his name being put forth as the prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Sunday engaged the delegates of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) convention more as a national leader than a regional satrap. Digressing from his written speech, which focussed on good governance, Modi’s 50-minute-long address sounded more like a speech given at an election rally as he severely criticised the Congress party and urged the BJP cadres to work towards throwing out the present government.

‘Congress is destroying this country like termites. It is very difficult to deal with termites, you finish them in one place and they rise in another. The only medicine for this ailment is the sweat of the BJP worker and only this sweat can free this nation from the termite that is the Congress,’ said Modi in his speech. Attempting to evoke nationalist feeling among the cadres, Modi said there is nothing more ‘patriotic’ than getting rid of the Congress party from the nation. ‘When the nation got freedom from the British, we got Swarajya, when the nation will be free from the Congress we will get Surajya,’ said the Gujarat chief minister.

Terming Congress as the party of commission and BJP as a party with a mission, Modi, without naming the ‘family’, was critical of the culture in the Congress party. ‘Sacrificing the national interest for one family is the tradition of the Congress,’ said Modi. He went on to target former Congress President Sitaram Kesri and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who were appointed as ‘night-watchman to safeguard the interests of the family’. Modi said that Kesri was unceremoniously thrown out when the time was right and they chose a Prime Minister who could be manipulated. ‘But did not think the night would become so long,’ said Modi referring to Singh’s tenure of two consecutive terms. The Gujarat chief minister knew how to rattle the Congress party, even while criticising the ‘weak leaders’ of the Congress. He rubbed it in by praising President Pranab Mukherjee and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. ‘Had Pranab Mukherjee been PM, there would have been less destruction in the country and if he had been successful, what would have happened to the family?,’ asked Modi.

Modi also made an effort to reach out to the allies of the Congress by saying leaders like VP Singh, IK Gujral and Chandrashekhar would not have become PMs if they had stayed with the Congress.
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