Modi takes on PM, Rahul from 'Red Fort'

Raipur, Sept 7 : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed a rally from a stage modelled on Delhi's Red Fort, attacking the incumbents, in the clearest mark yet of his Prime Ministerial ambitions for next year's elections.

Modi, the frontrunner for main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) 2014 campaign, was addressing a rally from Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh, that was also attended by state Chief Minister Raman Singh and party president Rajnath Singh.

"There is a Singh in Chhattisgarh, there is a Singh in Delhi. Both are doctors. But the doctor in Chhattisgarh is a people's doctor while the one in Delhi is only a doctor of money," he said, referring to Raman Singh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, citing its handling of the economy lately that has run into grievous turmoil, saying, "The Congress can turn gold into sand."

"The party's culture of arrogance is at its peak now. India's over 1.25 billion people are fighting with acute poverty and inflation while its leaders are busy with giving new definitions of poverty. The failure of Manmohan Singh has led to such a situation that the rupee has landed in hospital where it is battling for life," Modi said.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also made a veiled attack on Congress party Vice President and poster boy Rahul Gandhi, saying, "People are battling with acute poverty and inflation...while one leader made the biggest joke of people's plight and termed poverty a state of mind."

The 25-minute speech underscored Modi's no-holds-barred-strategy against the ruling Congress, as he took on the government from the ramparts of a makeshift Red Fort, akin to the Prime Ministers address the nation on Independence Day.

The Congress countered the onslaught, saying it was a mark of desperation as party leader Kamal Nath said, "They have created a fake Red Fort in Chhattisgarh. They might also create a fake RCR (Race Course Road, the PM's residence) to fulfill their aspirations."

--IBNS (Posted on 08-09-2013)

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