India should be strong to gain neighbours' respect: Modi
Attacking the UPA government, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Saturday said that India's neighbours are creating trouble because it is weak and these countries would be friendly only if the central government is strong.
He said if the Indian government is strong, fishermen from Tamil Nadu would not be languishing in Sri Lankan jails and Gujarat's fishermen in Pakistani jails.
Addressing a massive public rally at Vandalur, around 40 km from here, Modi said: "The central government should be strong, only then the neighbouring countries will be friendly with us."
Accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of adopting a confrontationist attitude towards the states, he said it has been demolishing the constitutional institutions whereas the need of the hour is a cooperative attitude.
The Gujarat chief minister said that there are confrontations between the centre and states and between states on water and other issues but the central government is not taking any action to solve the problems.
"Similarly there is confrontation between the government and the party. Government takes a decision but a party official overrules that. Such a confrontation was not seen in the country earlier," he claimed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader alleged that the UPA government rejects the decision of the Planning Commission though it is headed by the prime minister, while wondering how development would take place when a governor refuses to sign laws framed by state legislatures.
He charged the central government with misusing the Income Tax Department to threaten industrialists from investing in Gujarat, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for political reasons.
Modi also accused the government of not respecting the courts and their decisions, noting that even after the apex court ordered distribution of grains rotting in the warehouses, the government did not comply with the order and selling it to alcohol manufacturers and not to the poor.
He said the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government planned to link the national rivers as one part of the country suffers from floods while another part from drought, but the UPA government has not set up a committee to look into the issue despite an order by the apex court.
"The Planning Commission does not have any respect while National Advisory Council (NAC) is being used to scuttle developmental plans," he alleged.
Noting there had been good relationship between the army and the government since Independence, he claimed that there have been serious issues with the army in the last 10 years and there was a difference of opinion between the defence ministry and the armed forces.
Senior leader Venkaiah Naidu said the current Congress is not connected to the Congress of Mahatma Gandhi.
"That Congress was Gandhiji's Congress and this Congress is 2G Congress," he said. - IANS