JAIPUR: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lashed out at the UPA government at the Centre for what he described as its inability to govern and take “tough decisions”, besides promoting corruption in public life. He said the Congress had developed a culture of sycophancy with “complete submission to a single family” at the cost of 125 crore people of the country.

Launching the BJP’s election campaign in the Rajasthan capital at a huge “Suraaj Sankalp” rally, Mr. Modi affirmed that getting rid of Congress both at the Centre and in the States was the only way to restore the nation’s dignity and self-esteem. “The more corrupt a person is, the more opportunities he gets in Congress to succeed and rise,” he said.

Mr. Modi, who is also BJP election campaign committee chief, called upon the people in the presence of the party’s national president Rajnath Singh and Rajasthan unit president Vasundhara Raje to vote for BJP in the upcoming State Assembly polls. “The mistake made five years ago must not be repeated. I can feel the winds of change [blowing] here and the nation will follow suit.”

Mr. Modi, for whom there was a clamour among the audience, occupied the centre stage along with other top leaders, while the BJP MPs, MLAs and other elected representatives sat at the two podiums built on either side. Huge banners depicting former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jan Sangh ideologues Deendayal Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee were put up at the venue, Amroodon Ka Bagh.

Hundreds of party workers raised slogans in Mr. Modi’s support during the meeting. A visibly perturbed Mr. Modi intervened once during Mr. Rajnath Singh’s address and several times during his own speech to control the shouting supporters. “Your enthusiasm is praiseworthy. But please allow the meeting to go on,” he pleaded.

Taking a dig at Congress over a series of corruption cases coming to light, Mr. Modi said Congress should draft a book for students with a new terminology in which they would learn alphabets “A for Adarsh scam, B for Bofors scam, C for Coalgate and Commonwealth Games scam and D for defence corruption and Damad Ka Karobar (son-in-law’s business)”.

The UPA government was functioning without a leader, without morality and without policies, he charged. He ridiculed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for indicating his willingness to yield space to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and work under him.

“This is what all he had to say while coming back from the G-20 Summit! We were waiting to hear about the stand taken by India at the global meet.”

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