|Narendra Modi greets princess Diya Kumari (in file picture) after she was inducted into the BJP at the rally in Jaipur on Tuesday. Picture by Surendra Jain Paras
Jaipur, Sept. 10: Narendra Modi today said that before the Congress “bows out of power” next year, it will have given new meaning to the letters of the Roman alphabet courtesy the scandals it has been embroiled in.
He said children would learn to say: “A for Adarsh (housing scam), B for Bofors, C for Coal and Commonwealth Games, and D for the party’s Damaad kaa karobar (the son-in-law’s business empire — a reference to the help Priyanka Vadra’s businessman husband Robert allegedly received from Congress governments).”
Modi hit out at the Prime Minister for expressing his willingness to work “under Rahul Gandhi”.
“The PM went to the G20 summit but we have no idea of what he said there, what issues he raised. The PM returned and announced he would have a new boss under whom he would willingly work,” the Gujarat chief minister told a rally of BJP workers here.
“For the past 10 years, we have had a government that has lacked a commanding authority or a clear power centre in control of decision-making, and (has had) a parallel authority that is not accountable to anybody.”
The event capped a 70-day Surajya Sankalp Yatra (march to pledge for good governance) by Vasundhara Raje, former chief minister and the BJP’s candidate for the top post in the November Assembly polls.
While Vasundhara, who showed up in a Rajasthani saffron leheriya sari, drew loud applause, Modi’s presence was a double bonanza.
Young party workers signalled their impatience with every speaker but Modi. They broke the barricades and climbed the poles supporting the canopy, nearly bringing it down.
Modi claimed the feedback he had received from several Rajasthanis living in Gujarat was that they were keen to vote the BJP to power in their home state to “atone” for their “sin” of voting Vasundhara out in 2008.
Congress chief minister Ashok Gehlot had commented he was now working as though he had sipped poison, Modi said, linking the remark to an earlier one by Rahul Gandhi, also in Jaipur. At a Congress conclave that appointed him party vice-president, Rahul had likened power to a “poisoned chalice”.
“What is it about Jaipur that invokes remembrances of poison in Congress leaders? When we were young, we were told the antidote to poison is poison. But to the Congress, the antidote to poison is corruption. That’s why its leaders sing paeans to poison,” Modi said.
For the Congress, corruption is a gehna (ornament) worthy of every member’s possession, he said. “The more corrupt a Congressman, the more prosperous he becomes.”
He went on to cite “an example that would be appropriate to Rajasthan”.
“If there are two communities in India that understand what money, the rupee, signifies, they are Gujaratis and Marwaris. The Indian rupee is battling for life in the ICU but the Congress is in a dilemma,” Modi said.
“Does it wish to save its government or rescue the falling rupee? Does it want to salvage whatever prestige remains for the party or save the country? I reckon the Congress doesn’t want to save the rupee or the country. It is for itself and for its government.”
Modi had two messages for the young party workers who had turned out in numbers. One, they must celebrate their 18th birthday as a “milestone”.
“You attain your right to vote at 18 and become a direct arbiter on the country’s destiny. Therefore, this day should be commemorated like an event,” he said.
“Second, leverage the energy on display here before me at the polling booths. A simple law of physics is, when there are strong gusts of wind travelling at 200 miles an hour, you cannot hold an empty bicycle tube (against the wind) and hope to fill it with air. You need to work a pump strenuously.”
He added: “There is a strong wind blowing against the Congress from north to south, east to west. But we cannot harness this wind to our advantage unless we take our voters to the booths.”