New Delhi: Describing the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as an "election of hope", Narendra Modi has said he wants to rid the nation of bad governance, vote bank politics, dynastic rule, corruption and misuse of constitutional institutions which were "nourished" by Congress governments.
The BJP`s Prime Ministerial candidate said the "biggest crisis" facing the nation is that people have lost confidence not only in the institution of the Prime Minister but the "very institution of the government" that is crucial to run the government.
He listed his priorities as boosting job creation, skill development, enhancing farm produce, industrial production, healthcare, reservation and empowerment of women and stepping up security measures.
"When I speak about the `Congress-free India`, I mean freedom from the work culture that the Congress has given to this nation during the last 60 years. The culture it has nourished.
"By this, I mean freedom from politics of vote bank, the politics of grabbing power through these means. The country hasn`t witnessed such a naked dance of corruption that it has seen during the last 10 years," he told a news channel in an interview.
Elaborating on the explanation for the slogan, he said a `Congress-free India` necessarily means an India "free from bad governance, free from dynastic rule, free from the misuse of constitutional institutions, free from inflation, free from crises of different kinds."
On the upcoming polls, he said, "This election of 2014 does not leave any scope for negativity. This is an `election of hope`. This is happening for the first time in India."
Alleging that Congress has become a "synonym" of all the ills, Modi said if the country gets the right kind of leadership, people will follow the right path and the system will improve.
To buttress his point, he cited the work done by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre and BJP governments led by him in Gujarat, Shivraj Singh Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan.
"BJP doesn`t believe in making hollow promises. It gives results. It works for the poor," he said.
Asked about his priorities, the Gujarat Chief Minister said his policies and programmes will be aimed at uplift of the poor by bringing out the system from "the current inertia", infusing life into it and making it dynamic.
Alleging that the schemes of Congress were all directed at the politics of vote bank, he said, "They (Congress) have brought the nation to this sorry state of affairs. In such circumstances, our priorities must change."
He said employment to the youth and skill development are the priority in the whole world and that these can be implemented just through a commitment.
"All we need is facilitating skill development for our youth, give them opportunities for employment... Why not train them to meet their requirements.
These are small things but make a big difference," Modi said.
"The leadership should provide opportunities to fulfil the dreams of the youth," Modi said.
Talking about the need to tackle inflation, he said people are asking for minimum things and it is the responsibility of the government to provide its people basic amenities after 60 years of independence.
Contending that jobless growth is the "biggest crisis staring at our face", he said creation of jobs should be commensurate with the growth in the agriculture and industrial sectors. Tourism industry also has a large potential for employment generation, he said.
The BJP leader said there are vast opportunities in industrial and employment sectors but efforts need to be prioritised.
Turning to the farm sector, he said, "It`s high time that we lay emphasis on value addition of agricultural produce.
"We need to think new. It is the misfortune of the country that the poor farmer has to resort to distress sale of his produce in the absence of storage facilities.
Even the annoyance and displeasure by the Supreme Court fails to move this insensitive government. They let the crop rot and finally the poor farmer has to sell it to distilleries for a pittance," he said.
On the issue of women`s empowerment, Modi said his government in Gujarat tried to give 50 per cent quota in panchayats but the bill is pending with the Governor for years now.
"While we are committed to it, more important is to work for eliminating gender discrimination. This will have to be done at the social level, on cultural level, by changing the education systems. This discrimination will have to be erased from our mindset," he said.
On the issues of security and foreign policy, he said the UPA government had failed on these fronts as he highlighted the "tension" between Defence Minister AK Antony and the armed forces. "Strained relationship between the government and the armed forces is unacceptable," he said.
He said the decision-making process has come to a standstill while submarines are drowning and jawans are being killed.
Favouring indigenous manufacture of equipment, he said, "We have failed to modernise our defence equipment. There is urgent need to modernise our forces, inculcate discipline."