Lashing out at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on various counts, including communalism, corruption, unemployment and undermining constitutional institutions, the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , Narendra Modi, on Saturday said people should vote for development, something he and his party stood for steadfastly.

The Gujarat Chief Minister was perhaps at his best before a massive crowd that had thronged the venue at Vandalur, near here, from different places of Tamil Nadu, as he went about tearing into the UPA and taking potshots at Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

“I have come up from being a chaiwallah and never even seen the doors of Harvard,” he said adding it was not Harvard but hard work that mattered.” Responding to Mr. Chidambaram’s statement that his (Modi’s) knowledge of economics could be written behind a postal stamp, the Gujarat Chief Minister said that with his limited knowledge, he had been able to steer the State to a better position, particularly in job creation and gross domestic product.

The Centre’s policies, he said, are not helping the youth since unemployment, according to official statistics, is 2.2 per cent nationally, whereas in Gujarat, it is only 0.5 per cent. Apart from leading to a deceleration in growth, the policies of the UPA have resulted in the country’s debt burden going up significantly.

Mr. Modi’s much-publicised meeting is seen as providing a boost to the BJP as it seeks to strengthen itself in Tamil Nadu where Dravidian parties dominate.

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