Sunday, August 10, 2014

Angry Modi hits back at critics on WTO



New Delhi: Prime minister Narender Modi has at last broken his silence of the last few weeks. Speaking at the BJP national council meeting here on Saturday afternoon, he said that political pundits are finding it difficult to understand and come to terms with the victory of the party -- he did not mention himself but he was the subtext -- in the Lok Sabha elections.

Referring to the election victory -- this is the first that the BJP national council, the party’s highest forum was meeting after the astounding electoral victory -- Modi said that Rajnath Singh was the captain of the winning team, and declared Amit Shah as “man of the match”. He said that the credit for the BJP victory goes to the 125 crore people of the country.

He used the party forum to answer the criticism against the government over its stand on World Trade Organisation (WTO). The prime minister at the one-day party event, convened to ratify appointment of Amit Shah as party president, accused the Congress of signing away the interests of the poor and the farmers at the WTO. He struck a defiant tone that his government did not mind international disapproval of its stand because it was committed to the interests of the poor and the farmers in the country. Without mentioning the Congress, he said that the previous government had thrown away the interests of the poor at Bali.

He assumed the pious stand that the government will take an unpopular stand, and cited the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear explosion saying that at that time then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had dared world opinion and he did not mind isolation because national interests were supreme.

Modi argued that for the BJP the nation was more important than the party and that is the reason Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) had sacrificed itself in 1977 to merge with the Janata Party in order to save endangered democracy, his indirect reference was to the Emergency that Indira Gandhi had imposed in 1975.

He said that after the February 2013 national council meeting, sceptical political experts were watching the sense. He said that the people realised that here was a party that was seeking a majority. “Janata jaan na chaah raha thhaa maangnewalein mein kitna dum hai (The people were keen to know what was the resolve of those seeking the majority)”, he said. And he harped on his “I am a stranger in Delhi, I am an outsider,” theme. “Dilli ki duniya se aparichit (Unacquainted with the world of Delhi),” is the phrase that Modi threw up. And he taunted that in 60 days that his government has taken faster decisions than what others, meaning Congress, have done in 60 years. “Disha sahi hai (The direction is right)”, and therefore he was sure that his government will be able to fulfill the hopes and desires of the people.

Modi, the man most aware of the crucial importance of the party organisation, assured party president Shah and the party that the government will abide by the guidelines of the party, and returned to the BJP’s pet theme of booth management. Referring to the proposed membership drive of the party, he said that every polling booth of the party harbours 100 to 200 potential prime ministers. And he described PM, an indirect reference to himself, as merely a member of parliament.

He suggested that the party should dedicate every year to a special issue, for example one year should be dedicated to “Oorja bachat (Save energy) Year”, and gop out among the people. He quoted Acharya Vinoba Bhave, the Gandhian leader, as saying that more than the government it is the non-governmental organisations that are more effective.

There was less of exultation and more anger in the speech of Modi as well as that of Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley, especially against the Congress.



He said the election verdict has changed the situation in the country and the perception of the world about India. “Here was a country which has full majority and it has mandate of the people. This was a decisive moment,” he declaimed. The world sentiment about India is now positive was Modi’s thesis.


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