Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Mar 14:
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Congress accusing it of a ‘breach of trust’ with the people of the country while making only a passing reference to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“If somebody is inefficient, one can forgive him. If somebody commits breach of trust, he can never be forgiven, can he?” Modi asked in his trademark rhetorical style while addressing a massive Vijay Sankalp rally at the Ainthapali ground here this afternoon.
Beginning with its promise of bringing down prices ‘within 100 days’ made during campaigning for the 2009 general elections, Modi took the Congress apart on several fronts. He lambasted the Congress led UPA government for its failure to rein in prices even after five years.
The Gujarat strongman’s reluctance to take on Naveen Patnaik was unmistakable. “Does your chief minister have time for you?” he asked the crowd. After the crowd replied in the negative, he said; “Then why waste time talking about a person who is a good for nothing?” was all that he was willing to say about the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo.
Observers are interpreting Modi’s diffidence in attacking Naveen on substantive points as a sign of he and his party keeping the doors open for a post-poll understanding with the BJD.
Going back to his no-holds-barred attack on the Congress, Modi lambasted the party for pushing through a series of legislation with the elections in mind.
“It took the Congress over 60 years to realise that there was a need for a Food Security Act,” the Gujarat chief minister said in his customary style dripping with sarcasm.
Modi pooh-poohed the Congress’ concern for tribals saying; “It did not even know that adivasis have special needs. It was Atal ji, who created a separate ministry for tribal affairs and allocated funds for schemes aimed at their development,” he said.
Turning his attention to local issues, the BJP leader wondered why the highly popular Sambalpuri saree is still to get the benefit of the international market.
“Despite plenty of water and other resources at its disposal, why is it that rice productivity in Odisha is much lower than in other states?” Modi asked.
Making a reference to the revolt by Veer Surendra Sai, Modi said the former had launched his fight against the British even before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. “If 1857 was the battle for ‘swaraj’ ( self-rule ), 2014 is the battle for ‘suraaj'( good governance). If Sepoy Mutiny was about ‘kamal and roti’, the 2014 election is about ‘about kamal and Modi,” he said urging the people to vote for the ‘kamal’ (the party’s election symbol) in large numbers.
He also made a reference to the boat tragedy in the Hirakud reservoir on February 9 and paid homage to the 31 people who lost their lives in the mishap.
The BJP prime ministerial candidate launched a scathing attack on Foreign minister for denigrating the Election Commission of India and even the Supreme Court in a speech in London recently. “The Congress is determined to ruin every single constitutional authority and institution in its efforts to cling on to power,” he said holding the Prime Minister responsible for failing to rein in his ministers.
Continuing with his attack on the Congress, Modi said; “While I spend all my waking hours trying to find solutions to the problems confronting the country, they are busy finding a solution to the problem of Modi,” he said.