"UPA has failed to respond to problems of people"

On the heels of Congress leaders attacking him over allegations of his involvement in the illegal surveillance of a young woman, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged that the Congress is hatching conspiracies since it is unable to digest his growing popularity.

Mr. Modi, who was addressing a public rally here on his first visit to the State after being declared the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, said: “This [big crowds ] is what the Congress is unable to digest. Hence, they are hatching all kinds of conspiracies and attacking [me] with all kinds of language. They have sharpened their attack at me and the BJP.”

The Congress is intolerant to positive comments about him from others and is trying to silence such people in violation of democratic principles, Mr. Modi alleged, referring to Congress leaders targeting singer Lata Mangeshkar for supporting him.

The UPA is also trying to gag the social media and threaten TV channels for comparing his speech with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day address, he said.

Accusing the UPA of failing to respond to the problems of people, especially in checking price rise and tackling poverty, Mr. Modi alleged that the Congress is sitting in an ivory tower. “The Congress is an indoor player whereas we are outdoor players,” he remarked.

Maintaining that the time had come for the UPA to bow out, Mr. Modi said there was a dire need to move from corruption to clean and good governance; from stagnancy to buoyancy and make India a global leader when it celebrates its 75 Independence Day celebrations.

Taking serious exception to Union Minister Kapil Sibal urging the BJP to rethink its decision on making Mr. Modi its prime-ministerial candidate in the wake of allegations of illegal surveillance against him, BJP national president Rajnath Singh said: “Do whatever you want. We have declared our prime-ministerial candidate and no power on Earth can change it.”

He also appealed to the people of the country to protest in a non-violent manner the efforts to attack Mr. Modi. At the same time, he challenged the Congress to announce its prime-ministerial candidate.

Mr. Singh took exception to the reported reference to BJP leaders by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as chor (thieves). “Only those in power can steal. As the principal Opposition party, we are those policing the government treasury,” he said.

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