Forthcoming Parliamentary and Assembly polls to be fought for ‘development’, he says

In keeping with their efforts to woo the Muslim community, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Gujarat Chief Minister urged the BJP’s Maharashtra unit to reach out to “all sections of society irrespective of their religious affiliation, caste or creed.” He said the forthcoming Parliamentary and Assembly polls would be fought on the poll plank of ‘development’.

According to party sources, Mr. Modi elucidated his strategy at a three-hour meeting with the Maharashtra BJP’s core committee, wherein he urged BJP legislators and district presidents to explore all communities as part of its preparation of the Lok Sabha and the 2014 State Assembly polls.

The move is in keeping with the BJP’s recent unravelling of a ‘vision’ document for religious minorities.

Later, during addressing a book launch function at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mr. Modi accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of completely wrecking the country’s democratic institutions and the BJP, remarking that the Centre was instrumental in permeating “a harmful culture of political interference.”

“The Central government has proved itself utterly unable to provide good governance to the people,” Mr. Modi said.

Instead of governing, the UPA-2 government uses agencies like the CBI and the IB to undermine the functioning State governments with whom they do not see eye-to-eye, he said, quipping: “The Congress-led Central government fights more fiercely with certain State governments than with Pakistan.”

A culture of political intervention, which would catalyse and encourage people’s participation, was the need of the hour as opposed to political interference as practiced by the Congress, he stressed.

Mr. Modi recalled that the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s ‘intransigence’ in obeying the Election Commission’s directives to desist from holding elections in politically volatile Assam had resulted in the gruesome Nellie massacre of 1983.

As an instance of the Congress’ alleged “ineffectiveness” in governing the country, Mr. Modi accused the ruling party of rendering the Planning Commission impotent.

“The country, instead, is being run by the National Advisory Committee which comprised 5-star NGOs,” Mr. Modi said.