The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday hit out at the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying for some people secularism has become a way to “hoodwink” common public.

The Prime Minister on Tuesday said said secular forces must come together to “stop the onslaught of people like Narendra Modi.”

Addressing a gathering of students here, Mr. Modi said “I define secularism as nation first, India first. Justice to all, appeasement to none. No votebank politics and no discrimination — a poor man is a poor man.”

“He [PM] can say anything. He is a man of eighties. Today is the world of 21st century. Those who hoodwink the people have been caught out because the country has realised what some people have been up to in the name of secularism,” he added.

While his focus was governance model of Gujarat, subtle but sharp criticism of the UPA government were scattered across his over 45-minute-long speech. Taking a dig at the ‘dynastic’ politics of the ruling dispensation, he said: “In my family, no one knew even the p of politics. I used to be sell tea on trains and today I stand here in front of you.”

Highlighting the ‘policy paralysis’ of the government, he said: “Many journalists ask me if we are going to have early polls. But even for that somebody has to take a decision. But what can be expected from this government which is famous for not taking decisions.”

Mr. Modi’s date with students was accompanied with his date with a possible ally Telugu Desam Party. The TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, who had once shown much reservation to being seen on the same side as Mr. Modi, not only shared the stage with the Gujarat Chief Minister but also criticised the UPA government with the same passion.

Attacking the government on a host of issues Mr. Naidu said: “For a better future of India, the Congress government has to be defeated. The PM is a tool in the hands of Sonia Gandhi and the government is not performing.”

“Rahul Gandhi was aware of the ordinance which was aimed to shield convicted politicians. Why is he speaking now?” asked Mr. Naidu.

More In: National | News