Washington: Comparing the upcoming 2014 parliamentary poll to the one in 1977 after the 18-month emergency rule, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi reached out to the Indian diaspora seeking its help to win power.
“Like 1977, 2014 will be the voice of the people,” said the Gujarat chief minister addressing the annual national convention of the US chapter of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) at Tampa, Florida on Saturday through satellite video.
Modi, dressed in a half-sleeved grey shirt in the backdrop of a saffron screen with the party’s lotus symbol, spoke in Hindi for over an hour. His speech was telecast live on TV Asia across USA, Canada, Europe, and India.
The theme of the conference is “Mission 2014: BJP 272+”, a reference to the party’s ambition to secure absolute majority on its own in the 543 member Lok Sabha.
“The elections after Emergency (former prime minister Indira Gandhi had imposed a state of emergency in 1975 that lasted 18 months during which political opponents were jailed, civil liberties curtailed and press censored) were not fought by leaders or parties,” Modi said. “Neither did papers and pundits influence. It was people’s voice!”
Asking Indians abroad to dream about everyone’s progress and development as the solution to all problems, he said: “This election is not about any post but to wipe the tears of the poor.”
“Individuals are small, they come and go, the nation is eternal,” Modi said asking the party workers to “work very hard as only six months are left for the elections.”
Modi also asked all Indian passport holders abroad to register as voters saying the information was available on the party’s India 272 website.
“A question is asked who can rid India of the current problems? And the answer comes that BJP can do that,” he said asserting National Democratic Alliance governments led by BJP have created trust in the minds of the people. Modi opened the speech with a reference to the terror attack in a Nairobi mall earlier in the day in which some Indians too were killed saying “terrorism is strengthening its roots, it is challenging us.”
“As Mahatma Gandhi’s land, who gave message of peace it is for us to spread message of humanity,” he said. “Let us get the forces of humanity together and make the world free of terror.”
The two day convention kick started OFBJP’s campaign for “Congress Mukt Bharat Nirman” or building India without Congress — by winning power at the centre “with new thought and new hope to build one and excellent India” among the Indian diaspora. IANS