In his address to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national executive here on Sunday, the prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, spoke of creating a “brand India” and of his plan for the country’s development.
His development strategy is to go in “mission mode” in all sectors — industry, the next generation infrastructure, water and gas grids, bullet trains as in Japan, healthcare, education, agriculture, urbanisation, the setting up of 100 smart cities, and IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in every State.
For “creating a brand India,” he would nurture “five Ts” — talent, tradition, tourism, trade and technology. If nurtured properly, he promised, these would catapult India to the top in the comity of nations.
His idea of India, Mr. Modi said, was based on truth, non-violence, service to the poor, respect for women, and was not confined to any one person or entity.
Taking his cue from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he asked the cadre to go on a door-to-door campaign for funds, setting an outreach target of 10 crore families. “I am sure people will happily donate funds when you tell them that a ‘tea vendor,’ who has no possessions of his own, is contesting elections.”
Mr. Modi questioned the Congress for “flouting” parliamentary, democratic traditions in naming Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister when the party was unanimous in its support for Sardar Patel, then choosing Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister in 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, and in 2004 when party MPs chose Sonia Gandhi, who in turn nominated Manmohan Singh to head the government.
Criticising Dr. Singh, Mr. Modi said that in the past 10 years, only committees had been constituted for various problems, instead of solutions being found. “The country needs commitment, not committees,” he said, dubbing the UPA rule synonymous with price rise, corruption, lack of employment for youth and crimes against women.
Terming the general election the “dawn of a new era,” Mr. Modi declared: “It’s time to move from representative democracy to participative democracy.”