At a campaign rally in Chennai, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has made much of his humble background and how hard work matters, perhaps in response to the Union Finance Minister’s statement that his [Mr. Modi’s] “knowledge of economics could be written behind a postal stamp (Feb. 9).” The level of political discourse appears to be plummeting by the day and decency seems to be a vanishing concept. While Mr. Chidambaram should apologise for what he has said, Mr. Modi should know that much good has been done in this country by persons of humble origin. The educational background of some of our political leaders of yore will be an eye-opener to him.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is undoubtedly a crowd- puller, but in order to translate this gift into votes, Mr. Modi has to clearly spell out the BJP’s position on crucial issues. Remarks like “hard work matters and not Harvard,” and “Re-count Minister,” an obvious jibe at Mr. Chidambaram, are unwarranted. People want solutions.
By describing the leaders who are engaged in the formation of a third alternative as those who will make India a “third-rate” country only shows Mr. Modi’s growing political intolerance (Feb. 5). The third alternative includes leaders like Mr. Nitish Kumar who was not a “third-rate” leader till such time as he was in alliance with the BJP after all. With regional outfits increasingly threatening to displace the national parties, one can only expect such uncharitable remarks being made against their leaders. The results of the Lok Sabha election will prove who is relevant and who is not.