In his first public rally after being anointed BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi today made a strong pitch for "strong leadership" at the Centre and asked politicians to take lessons in true secularism from the Army.
Modi, who has accused the UPA government of poor governance, said if the country has to be steered out of the present mess, it needs a "strong government" with a person who can lead from the front.
"If you want to see the country strong, if you want a strong government in Delhi, then check whether your name is on the voter list," he said while urging the youth to exercise their right to vote.
In his 65-minute-long address, Modi made several references to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was considered a moderate in the BJP, and to the "true secularism" prevailing among Indian Armed Forces.
"The politics of vote banks has become disgusting in our country. Politicians who want to divide the society through vote bank politics, should learn true secularism from our armed forces," he told the rally attended by former Army Chief Gen V K Singh and a large number of ex-servicemen.
Training his guns at the Centre, Modi said the border troubles with Pakistan and China were not because of any shortcomings in the Army.
"The problem is in Delhi. And hence the solution to this problem has to be found in Delhi itself. The problem will be solved only when a competent, patriotic and people-oriented government is formed at the Centre.," he said.