BJP prime ministerial hopeful sees urbanisation as a positive trend

Seeking to take the country from “low-end thinking to high-end activity”, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday recommended in Mangalore a village-based economy to put money in the hands of people while seeing urbanisation as a positive trend.

Lacing his talk — dedicated mainly to the development agenda in this land of high literacy — with a diatribe against what he called the failure of the Congress on all fronts and its lack of vision, he saw a great scope for countries with a coastline saying that the Indian coastal States should shape an independent “port-led” development.

Addressing a large crowd at the Nehru Maidan, he said that the former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee had envisioned a “Sagara Mala” project for such States, with stress on developing rail, road and air network besides building harbours and training manpower in harbour management and ship repair.

He, however, shied away from issues such as cow slaughter and appeasement of the minorities.

Citing “stagnation in the growth of the IT industry” as an example of low-end thinking, Mr. Modi wanted the country to come out of the mindset of mediocrity, and “export both talent and labour” instead of merely supplying labour to the world in the form of business process outsourcing/call centre employees. He said that India should ensure its rightful place in IT, BT, nano technology, genetic science, tourism, gems and jewellery.

‘Congress-free country’

Earlier in Davangere, Mr. Modi lambasted the Congress for what he said ruining the country in the last 10 years through maladministration and corrupt governance. He underlined the need to make the country Congress-free. He said that “it is impossible to eliminate corruption unless we rid the country of the Congress”.

Addressing a rally, Mr. Modi assured the people of developing the nation on the lines of Gujarat and fulfil the dreams of Mr. Vajpayee and the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam if they voted the BJP to power.

He said that Mr. Vajpayee had commenced the task of linking rivers of northern India with those in southern India to help avoid floods in the north and at the same time, solve the drinking water shortage in the south. He said that he would take up the project with all seriousness and complete it in a time-bound schedule.

The BJP was planning to bring in a radical change in the import and export policy keeping in mind the interest of farmers and entrepreneurs. “Fibre to fabric, fabric to fashion and fashion to foreign countries was the proposed policy of the BJP,” he announced.

Telangana Bill

Mr. Modi also criticised the Congress for not making any effort to bring peace in Andhra Pradesh where the bifurcation process is on.

Mr. Modi reminded AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre came to power with the support of people of Andhra Pradesh.

He asked Mr. Rahul Gandhi why he had not paid a visit to Andhra Pradesh or Seemandhra region, as law and order had collapsed there over the bifurcation issue.

He said that Mr. Rahul Gandhi should have gone to Andhra Pradesh on priority and should have taken the people into confidence before the Telangana Bill was tabled in Parliament. It would have been ideal if Congress leaders had visited Andhra Pradesh and Seemandhra region before the passage of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Bill, he said.

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