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Sevak Modi cries for change
- Asks electorate to throw out ‘ineffective’ govts

Balangir, April 4: The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today called upon people to throw out the nikammi (ineffective) governments at the Centre and in the state as the country wanted a change.

“You have chosen shashak (rulers) for the past 60 years. Now give a sevak (servant) like me a chance for just 60 months. I assure you I will remove the ills, which have accumulated over the past 60 years,” Modi said.

Accusing the Congress of failing to keep its promise of checking prices, Modi called upon the people to punish the party by getting the country rid of it. “In the same way, you should also chuck out the BJD government, which is yet to provide jobs to its youths, who are forced to migrate to Surat in Gujarat,” he said, urging the electorate to give him a chance at the Centre.

“For them, power is a means of self-aggrandisement. They are just not worried about you. They have taken you for granted. Chuck them out,” Modi exhorted the small crowd at R.N. Singh Deo Stadium here addressing his first public meeting in this constituency. Here, state BJP chief K.V. Singh Deo’s wife Sangeeta has locked horns with her brother-in-law Kalikesh Singh Deo of the BJD and Sarat Patnaik of the Congress in a triangular contest. The state BJP chief is representing the Patnagarh Assembly seat.

Though the crowd was small by Modi’s standards, it cheered him throughout his speech during which he took repeated digs at chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The Gujarat strongman, who played to the gallery beginning his oration in the local dialect, said there were rulers who thought people would vote for them despite being repeatedly ravaged by cyclones and floods. “This arrogance is bad. You must set the minds of such leaders right,” he said, calling for a change in the mindset of those in the business of governance.

As saffron banners and flags fluttered and people chanted “Modi Modi”, he said the country was in the mood for a change. “You have to bring about this change and choose a government which would think for you and work for you. Din raat sochnewali kam karnewali sarkar chahiye (you need a government which thinks and works day and night for you),” he said.

Alleging that mis-governance had destroyed Odisha, which boasted of a proud legacy, he said the state was now mentioned only in the context of poverty and starvation. “Does this look nice even 60 years after Independence? Even when you hire a halia (Odia term for one, who looks after farming), you ensure that he works for you sincerely. You should ensure that you get a good chief minister and a good Prime Minister,” said Modi, indulging in a bit of self-praise as he cited the conversion of the once arid Kutch region in Gujarat into a fertile zone as an example of good governance.

Making a pointed reference to the KBK plan, which he claimed was nurtured by Atal Behari Vajpayee during the NDA regime but was ignored later by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Modi said the KBK belt, including Balangir district, badly needed irrigation and water conservation projects. “Development of this region, especially its farmers, should be our priority. Otherwise, it will turn into an arid zone,” said the BJP campaign committee chief, who cited the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh as an example of progress brought about by enhanced irrigation.