Narendra Modi gets star treatment from BJP in Delhi; slams Centre for declining growth rate

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 13:26 hrs

New Delhi: Amid rousing chants of "PM, PM" by his supporters, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday thanked the BJP for its support and said the development work done by his government was responsible for its hat-trick win in the assembly polls.

Addressing a felicitation event at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters here, Modi said: "For 12 years, my government has done work... The people of Gujarat have voted in favour of the good work done by my party in the state."

His supporters kept up a chant of "PM, PM" - voicing their demand that Modi be named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for 2014.

Praising the party, Modi said it was possible for an ordinary party worker like him to become a chief minister of the state.

"It was possible for me, a simple worker, to rise to where I am today," he said.

Earlier, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari praised Modi for the "tohfa (gift)" he had got in the form of the party scoring a massive win in the state elections for a third time.

"Gujarat is an example before the nation," Gadkari said.

PM has no vision, no action plan: Modi

Modi on Thursday hit out at Manmohan Singh and said the Prime Minister is plunging the nation into darkness.

Addressing BJP workers at party office in New Delhi, Modi said: "The Prime Minister has no vision or action plan for the nation plunging it into total hopelessness."

Slamming the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for India's economic crisis, Modi said: "They planned 9 per cent growth but stalled it at 7.9%. Sadly, today they have stopped thinking about 9 per cent. This has come down to 8.2 per cent. The PM has only 0.3 per cent target more now from it."

"I told the PM at the NDC (National Development Council) meeting today that the country is disappointed with the economic gloom," he said.

He said the youth power of the country is not harnessed and if the government in Delhi is so weak no chief minister can push and take it forward.

"In the 20-point development programme, no Congress or UPA state is in the top 5. The government has no plan, no dreams and no zeal. I would request all of you to come to Gujarat and see the governance there," said Modi.

Speaking about the development in Gujarat, he said: "Many people from different political parties have come to Gujarat to know more about the Gujarat model without media hype."

He said it was because of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) support that he has been able to become the Gujarat Chief Minister for the third time.

"It is because of the party that I have reached this position. Despite being an ordinary worker, the party has allowed me to become a 3-time chief minister," said Modi.

"Whatever responsibilities you gave me, I tried to fulfill them with all my efforts. Gujarat has always welcomed my efforts," he said.

Thanking the BJP workers for their 'warm welcome', Modi said: "I have never expected such a wonderful and warm welcome at party headquarters. I thank you all for giving me so much respect especially to our national president Nitin Gadkari."

"In order to fulfill people's expectations, we have to keep working hard all the time," he said.

Earlier in the day, Modi attended the NDC meeting in the national capital where he attacked the UPA government and said its 'policy paralysis' was leading the country towards stagnation and negative growth.

"Centre's policy paralysis is leading the country towards stagnation and negative growth, which will not help the nation," Modi told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

"The last time we met, they spoke of 9 per cent growth but we are still stuck at 7 per cent. A nation like us is aspiring only for 0.3 per cent growth?" Modi said.

In his speech at the meeting, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said: "It seems that there is no urgency or seriousness in tackling economic crises facing the country. There has been a virtual lack of direction in the macro-economic management of the country."

Modi is cynosure of media at NDC meet

Modi was the cynosure of the media at the National Development Council meeting in Delhi.

Cameras followed every move Modi made, as he greeted political leaders and exchanged pleasantries.

Modi, who arrived after several other chief ministers had already come to the venue, exchanged words with union ministers and chief ministers, chatting in the aisle close to the main dais before the start of the event.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who saw Modi from a distance, stood for a while and greeted him.

Modi greeted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, patting his back and hugging him.

He later went to the seat of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and had a few words with him.

However, the much-anticipated meeting of Modi with his bete noire and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not come about in the morning session.

Modi, seen as possible prime ministerial candidate of the BJP for general elections 2014, faces opposition from Nitish Kumar's party, Janata Dal-United.

Modi steered clear of all questions on his likelihood of playing a more active role in national politics. Asked about the talk of him contesting the next Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow, Modi remained quiet.

Officials said they were expecting a more pungent attack against the United Progressive Alliance from Modi, but he came up with some workable suggestions to address the concerns of the states.

Apart from Modi, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh also basked in the glory of the Congress victory in the assembly polls in the hill state last week.

Congress chief ministers Sheila Dikshit and Prithviraj Chavan warmly greeted Virbhadra Singh.

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