At his rally in New Delhi, Gujarat chief minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi called the 2014 elections 'historic', and claimed that the BJP has solutions to many of the problems that plague the country today.
Narendra Modi shared stage with yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who has become one of the strongest non-party backers of Modi and is using his huge reach into rural heartlands to spread the BJP's message of a 'unified and strong' India.
No country can become great unless people of that country have a sense of pride and belonging. That is why after 66 years of independence, we continue to be a nation stuck in mediocrity, Modi said, referring to the state of affairs in the national realm. The BJP wants to work for a strong, united India that respects its culture and has pride in its own history.
Modi was critical as usual of the reigning UPA government, calling it a retro force that does not understand the dynamics of development in present times. Today elections are about development. We have to learn from China and focus on skill development, Modi said, adding, Don't go by my words, but track record for development.
"The present taxation system is a burden on common man. There is a need to reform it and and introduce a new system. It is the need of the time," Modi said, raising the the issue of taxes. Modi's remarks assume significance as the BJP has been talking about abolition of taxes in its internal meetings in the past as well. Former BJP President Nitin Gadkari had last month said that he was contemplating incorporating a proposal to abolish income, sales and excise taxes in the vision document of his party.
Modi also highlighted the perceived difficulties of businessmen to go about their work if the centre interfered at every step. The central government has gone back to the days of the license raj. In Gujarat, we let the businessmen do business and only ask for a certificate of safe practices and upkeep of machinery from them, and they take care of their own belongings, he said.
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