Have sold tea, not nation: Narendra Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday lashed out at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and said he has sold tea early in his career but had not sold the country like the present government.
Addressing an election rally at Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said: "Those who make fun of my poverty I want to tell them - yes I sold tea but I never sold the nation and I am proud of this."
"I am not at all sad that I was born in backward community in a poor household. But yes, I am sad when leaders of Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) mock the poor," he said.
"The language they use ... it's not about Narendra Modi. It is only about their regressive mentality," said Modi.
Modi mocked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for visiting the poor at their homes during election campaigns.
"Like a tourist who has not seen the Taj Mahal, those born with golden spoons have to go to see poor people in their homes," said Modi.
"I have experienced what it was when it was cold outside and we never had blankets or when people insulted me when I sold tea," he said.
Modi took turns in taking jibes at SP supremo Mulayam Singh and his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Maywati and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.
"You must understand this - Father-Son (Mulayam-Akhilesh) are busy troubling Behenji (Mayawati) and Behenji is busy troubling Father-Son. This is how 5 years pass."
"And what do the Mother-Son (Sonia-Rahul) do? They go to both SP and BSP and provoke them. SP, BSP and Congress are not bothered about UP," Modi said.
He further said: "I am not bothered if I win or not. Will never compromise with my principles. I will make committees to look into criminal cases of people. Be it BJP, NDA (National Democratic Alliance) or any other party, no one will be sparred. Those who have committed crimes must be punished."
"We want a Parliament free from criminals. Criminals will be in jail and when elections happen again clean candidates will come," he added.
(Posted on 21-04-2014)