Narendra Modi addresses the Indian diaspora via video conference at the Overseas Friends of BJP Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida
Gandhinagar: Narendra Modi
today said it was time to make the UPA accountable for its nine years of rule and hoped that the people of India would do in the 2014 general elections what they did post-emergency in 1977 - "throw the Congress out".
"It's time the UPA government gives some answers on what it has done in the last nine years. Immediately after this they will ask what Modi has done in Gujarat. Well, I have already answered in December 2012. I have passed the test of the people thrice, with distinction," said the Gujarat Chief Minister, who was named presumptive Prime Minister by his party, the BJP, a few days ago. (Read highlights of Narendra Modi's address)
In his early morning address to the Indian diaspora, Mr Modi said only the BJP could pull India "out of the doldrums."
His party's vision, he said, was to return India to where the National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken it in six years of rule, on foreign policy, on economic growth, on employment and food security, said Mr Modi, challenging the Congress with statistics.
He repeatedly invoked what he called India's "golden era of Atal and Advani" in his address via teleconference. Mr Modi's example of the BJP's "good governance" also included, not a detail of his Gujarat model, but a special mention for the work of party chief minsters and other leaders, signalling the change in dynamics since he was picked the party's prime ministerial candidate for 2014.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh, BJP chief ministers who face Assembly elections this year got special mentions; Mr Chouhan, who has been seen as an internal rival to Mr Modi, merited repeated pats on the back.
The Gujarat Chief Minister compared the situation to the post-Emergency period and said there was an imminent need to "uproot the Congress... using every democratic and fair way possible."
"Like 1977, 2014 will be the voice of the people," he said, and urged all Indian passport holders abroad to register and vote to ensure a change of guard.