Accusing the Congress of weakening the country’s federal structure by ignoring autonomy of States, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday promised to strengthen its foundation if his party came to power.
Addressing about one lakh people at a “Vijay Sankalp Rally” on the outskirts of the city, Mr. Modi accused the Congress of “playing politics,” not acknowledging the autonomy of States and destabilising the federal structure much to the annoyance of State governments.
In fact, the Congress weakened all institutions of democracy in its quest for centralising power and skirting accountability, Mr. Modi said. . The autonomy of democratic institutions would be restored if the BJP came to power.
Urging voters to root out the Congress in the Lok Sabha election, he asked the crowd to take a pledge that it would ‘vote for India’ unlike in previous elections, when the people voted for individuals or a party.
The Gujarat Chief Minister took at a dig at the former Union Minister for Environment and Forests, alleging that no file in the Ministry could be approved unless a ‘Jayanthi Tax’ was paid.
Mr. Modi criticised the Aam Aadmi Party, without naming it, saying some new friends had come up to save the Congress and they were criticising the BJP for corruption, oblivious of the long, dedicated and selfless service of BJP leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Taking a dig at the media, Mr. Modi said it was so obsessed with what was happening in Delhi that it often ignored the good things happening in Goa and elsewhere in the country. “People should not believe in those who are seen only on TV,” he said in a veiled attack on the AAP.
He blamed the Congress and its allies for taking the country back by 50 years and said the party had infected the country’s polity with ills caused by dynasty-rule and corruption.
Attacking Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for urging States to exercise caution when detaining youth from minority communities on terror charges, he asked. “Does crime have a religion?” He called for a halt to the Congress’ ‘vote bank’ politics.