Kanpur: The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Congress and asked the people to throw out the "corrupt, arrogant and inactive central government".
Modi's rally at Buddha Park here termed "Vijay Shankhnaad" - blowing of the conchshell to declare victory - was his first in a series of nine planned in Uttar Pradesh over the next two months for the 2014 general elections. Kanpur is 105 km from the state capital Lucknow.
Referring to the 1857 First War of Independence when people from the region joined hands to overthrow the British rule, Modi said while Indians the fought for "swarajya" (independence), now time has come to fight for "surajya" (good governance).
The Gujarat chief minister not only attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA II) central government in Delhi but also slammed the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the state for fooling people and "playing with their dreams".
He added the parties which support the corrupt Congress government at the centre should also be voted out in the general elections.
"If you love your children and want them to lead a happy and prosperous life, take a vow here today (Saturday) that the people who have destroyed your happiness will soon be devoid of this power through your vote," he said to loud applause.
Pointing out the Congress was fishing out new tricks in the form of new legislations and raking up issues like secularism and communalism, Modi alleged these were diversionary and divisive tactics to hide the party's failures.
"They have nothing to show as their achievements, so every time someone asks them to comment, they say there has been no development in Gujarat," he said.
"The people of Gujarat renewed their faith in me in December 2012," Modi said and added it is the turn of the Congress to get people's verdict.
The country's citizens have a right to know what the UPA II has done for them in the past five years, Modi said while pointing to the price-rise and the 2009 Congress manifesto promise of removing it in 100 days. "They have broken all promises and so send them packing," Modi said.
Saying that neither the prime minister nor Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi was speaking on price-rise and inflation, the BJP leader said the Congress was "power drunk, arrogant and lost no opportunity to hurt the poor even further".
"The 'shahzaada' (prince) of Congress (Rahul Gandhi) moves around in slums and a poor man's home accompanied by camera crews and refers to poverty as a state of mind... one who has not seen poverty and was born with a golden spoon cannot understand what is the pain of being poor," Modi said, adding he knows what poverty is as he grew up trying to make ends meet in his early life.
Targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the "policy paralysis" on all fronts, including the foreign policy and relations with neighbours, Modi questioned the "chicken biryani" diplomacy of the Indian government even as Pakistan was slaying Indian Army troops.
"For me, welfare of people is most important and I know of no other religion than India first," he said.