The January 7-9 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi, of which FICCI is a partner, is aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages among the diaspora. There are 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India. As India completes 75 years of independence in 2022, Modi said it was possible that India develops to be globally competitive and admired as well as be locally inspiring and inclusive and gave the slogan of “United India – Grand India”. In an apparent reference to the upcoming General Elections, Modi said it will take another few months for “good days” to usher in. Underlining that petty politics between states and Centre harms the nation, Modi felt happy that states were competing with each other and nations were wanting to deal with them directly instead through the Centre. Modi noted that focus has now been shifted from Central government to state authorities. The sharper this competition becomes, the better it is for the overall development of the country.Taking a dig at Dr Manmohan Singh, Modi said he backed the Prime Minister for saying that good times are ahead.Before addressing the plenary session of 12th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the largest gathering of Indian diaspora in the world, Modi, who aspires to become the country’s next Prime Minister, got a round of applause. Last week, Manmohan Singh said India is changing in a significant way and asked over 22 million expatriate community, the world’s second largest, to stay engaged in the future of the country with confidence and optimism. Modi further hailed the Indian diaspora, saying that NRIs should not be weighed in just dollars and pounds. He underlined that the experience gained by the NRIs should be invested to give new direction to the nation. Modi referred to two major events in history in which the migration had come together to support the country – one was during the 1975 emergency and the second the 1998 nuclear test by the BJP-led NDA government.
Modi is trying his level best to reach out people and make it happen for BJP in general and for his PM post in particular. By now the people are bored with him as he talks only about Gujarat and himself, or attacks Congress or family. People want to know what solutions, what growth model and what vision Modi has for this country. He always failed to discuss these things. Whatever Manhoman Singh said, was related to Rahul as future PM and Congress as progressive party. What Modi interpreted as, wait for few months, good days are ahead as he will be PM and Congress would pack its bags.
Entire Congress is relying only on Rahul Gandhi and that will be disastrous. Rahul or Manhohan, both should remember that there are a number of top leaders in the Congress who are talented and can lead the country to glory. The advent of the Aam Aadmi Party and the rise of Narendra Modi have eroded the image of Rahul Gandhi and the older regional parties. It is in this light that the inclusion of Priyanka Vadra, on whose image of freshness the Congress hopes to cash in, has to be seen. While this development may be the party’s counter to Modi’s rising fortunes, it will further isolate party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Priyanka’s next move will be watched with interest. If the Congress decides to go the whole hog and bring in Robert Vadra along with Priyanka, a truly dynastic regime will ensue. Of course, Sonia Gandhi may yet manage to cobble together support from splinter parties, but the Congress’ campaign will by no means be smooth-sailing this time round. The move to initiate Priyanka into active party politics seems to be an act of desperation on the part of the Congress. While the party hopes Mrs. Vadra will somehow revive its sagging and shrinking image, it overlooks the fact that her controversial husband Robert is still associated with corruption and amassing ill-gotten wealth. In such a context, Mrs. Vadra might emerge as a burden rather than an asset to the party. If allegations that Priyanka herself has acquired plots in Himachal Pradesh through Virbhadra Singh persist, political adversaries won’t fail to capitalise on the chinks in the party armour. The Congress is looking jaded and the inclusion of Priyanka Vadra is not likely to enhance its image. It needs to understand that the dynastic charisma it so relies on has faded. Finally, to say that Narendra Modi will be less disaster as a prime minister largely because of what happened in Gujarat when the Congress itself was responsible for the 1984 riots, is uncharitable. India, after a very long time, got a top-class economist as its leader and one can only express anger and disappointment that he let things drift. Dr. Singh could have acted firmly and cut any wayward allies to size when scams began to take their toll on the Congress. His having glossed over the scandals is shocking. His views on Modi are something that needs to be taken lightheartedly. Apart from his unexpected aggression towards the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and his own decision not to seek a third term, Dr. Singh’s media conference, possibly his last as Prime Minister, did not reveal anything new or startling. Was the press conference a signal from the Congress that he was just running the clock down and a new leadership will henceforth call the shots?
What Modi said today also should be taken light heartedly, as no one knows what is written in the fate of BJP, there are many new emerging political parties who can play spoiler as they played in Delhi.