Friday, 28 December 2012

Narendra Modi taunts Manmohan, pitches Gujarat growth model

Narendra Modi taunts Manmohan, pitches Gujarat growth model
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 28 (CMC) On his first visit to Delhi after his latest victory in Gujarat, Narendra Modi skillfully used the platform of the National Development Council to reach out to a national audience and to showcase the Gujarat model of development. 

Speaking just after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged that the growth rate estimate had been further pruned to 8%, Modi declared that the dip was a reflection of poor leadership at the Centre and its "poverty of ideas", dismissing the UPA argument that the economic slowdown was caused by global factors. 

"It seems that there is no urgency or seriousness in tackling economic crises facing the country. There has been a virtual lack of direction in the macro-economic management of the country," Modi said, fully reflecting the confidence of someone who had just bested his opponents on his "double-digit growth" plank 

"Lack of leadership, poverty of ideas and policy paralysis at the Centre is taking the country towards negative growth. I have expressed concern on this," Modi later told reporters. 

His speech seemed to be pitched at an audience beyond Gujarat. The CM spoke of a national commission on the sharing of natural resources modelled along the lines of the Finance Commission and a smart grid to avoid largescale power shutdowns: a clear shift from the theme of "discrimination against Gujarat" which was his trope on such outings. 

While Modi has denied that he is looking for a role outside Gujarat, the BJP cadre seem to have no doubt that it is time he moved to Delhi. Hundreds of them gathered at the party headquarters to loudly declare their choice for who should be the party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014. Loud chants of "PM PM" greeted Modi when he arrived to be feted by party workers on his latest electoral triumph. 

The energy of the crowd was testimony to the pull that Modi has with the cadre, and should cause concern to other prime ministerial aspirants in the party who find comfort in the "collective leadership" mechanism. The supporters shouted "Desh ka neta kaisa jo, Narendra Modi jaisa ho", while posters proclaimed "Best PM Vajpayee, Next PM Narendra Modi". 

There were placards as well, referring to Modi's self-proclaimed aversion to leave Gujarat for Delhi. "Tie Modiji in Delhi by rope," said one, declaring the intent of the cadre. 

Party president Nitin Gadkari, already diminished because of the controversy over the funding of Purti group of companies, looked out of place as the adulating cadre made a beeline to shake hands with Modi. 

However, just as at the NDC, Modi remained hewed to his development theme, although unfettered by the protocol of the conclave of chief ministers, he was much more forthcoming in his opinion about the PM and the UPA. He said the UPA lacked the political will and vision for growth. "You neither have a plan, nor a vision nor political will for development," he said. 

Modi blamed the UPA for the climate of pessimism that he said had enveloped the country and then, as if to offer a sunny contrast, said Gujarat could give China a run for its money to be the new global hub for manufacturing. 

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