Modi said a government headed by him would arrest rising inflation, focus on infrastructure development and ensure equitable development, while bringing state and central governments on a more equal footing.
Stressing on the need for building a “Brand India”, Modi said his formula was based on 5Ts – talent, tradition, tourism, trade and technology.
In his speech, which had shades of both economics and politics, Modi didn’t miss an opportunity to attack the Congress. He said the Congress had not announced a prime ministerial candidate, as party chief Sonia Gandhi did not want to politically “sacrifice” her son, the party vice-president, in view of an “imminent defeat”.
The Gujarat chief minister was speaking at the BJP’s national council meeting, which ended on Sunday.
“The country has to make a choice between the voice of a tape recorder or a track record... The country does not need Bills but political will. It does not want Acts but action. In 10 years, there was not a single day when the prime minister has not formed a committee,” Modi said. He added the country was looking for “commitment” and not “committees”. He said the country was leaderless, visionless and was led by those of doubtful sincerity. He added the Congress leadership was uncomfortable accepting that they were being challenged by someone who came from a less privileged background.
During his speech, Modi described himself in varying ways. He referred to himself as a chaiwalla, who was also from a backward caste. He said he belonged to a poor family, and talked of his mother who would wash dishes in the neighbourhood. And asked why a sevak like him should not be chosen over “rulers” who had governed India for 60 years.
“You have chosen rulers for the last 60 years. Give 60 months to this sevak,” he said.
He said the central government had behaved like a “big brother”, while he was in favour of a relationship of equality between state and central government. “Delhi has an attitude of a big brother. We should change this... No one should be a big brother or small brother... all should be equal,” he said.
Modi described inflation as the “biggest worry” of the country. He said his government would implement a mechanism through which “real-time” monitoring of crops could be done, by constituting special courts to try hoarders, and instituting a “price stabilisation fund”.
Promotion of infrastructure formed a major portion of the address. He proposed building a high-speed railway corridor connecting the four corners, similar to the Golden Quadrilateral for national highways.
Modi said India had so far treated urbanisation as a challenge when it should have been treated as an opportunity. He said India needed to immediately build 100 new cities, which should be developed as twin cities and satellite cities. He gave the example of New York and New Jersey in the US.
Stressing the need to expand higher education, Modi said every state should have one Indian Institute of Technology, one Indian Institute of Management and one All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Finally, Modi referred to his “rainbow strategy” as a framework for India’s development. The seven things that made up India’s development were, Modi said, its deep-rooted family system; agriculture-animal development; women power; natural resources; youth power; vibrant democracy and knowledge.
He did not mention secularism.