Modi Slams India’s Gandhi Dynasty as Delhi Crowd Tops 100,000

Modi Slams India’s Gandhi Dynasty as Delhi Crowd Tops 100,000

India’s leading opposition figure Narendra Modi took aim at the Gandhi family political dynasty as he sharpened attacks on the ruling party before a crowd that topped 100,000 people ahead of state and national elections. Voters must choose between the Gandhis or a leader who once served tea on the railways and rose to prominence through hard work, Modi told supporters in New Delhi yesterday. He was making his first speech in the nation’s capital since the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party picked him as its choice for prime minister in a national election that must be held by May.“Today the issue is whether the country is run on the whims of the prince or on the basis of the constitution,” Modi said in the speech. The family of Rahul Gandhi, deputy leader of India’s ruling Congress party, has helmed the country for about four decades since independence in 1947.

Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, is projecting his record of governance and stronger-than-average economic growth in the state he has ruled since 2001 in an attempt to propel his party to national power. Corruption scandals have dented the popularity of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government in its second term in office, stalling legislation and harming efforts to revive Asia’s third-largest economy.

Laughing Stock

Rahul Gandhi criticized Singh’s order last week to allow convicted lawmakers to hold office, describing it as “nonsense.” Singh then said he will consider the issues raised by Gandhi after deliberations with the cabinet upon his return from the U.S.

Modi said India has become a global laughing stock due to corruption scandals and mismanagement. Singh’s government accepts corruption as normal and has failed to provide jobs for the young, Modi told the rally kicking off the party’s efforts to win a state election in Delhi this year.

“The world is moving ahead but we are being left behind — we are a cause of ridicule for the world,” Modi said. “The government is mired in corruption. Instead of finding solutions to problems, it has stopped functioning.”

Sharif Meeting

Modi also attacked Singh for being weak and questioned why he would meet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after reports that the leader compared him with a village woman in a private conversation with journalists.

A Pakistani journalist working at GEO TV said that Sharif had likened Singh to a village woman because he spent so much time talking about Pakistan when meeting with U.S President Barack Obama on Sept. 27. An Indian journalist working at NDTV television channel, who was also present at the meeting, denied Sharif made the allegations.

Modi is “distorting facts” and insulting the prime minister, Rashid Alvi, a Congress leader, told reporters. Modi should focus on running his state, which is facing flood threats, Alvi said.

Modi made points that have the “potential to work brilliantly in elections,” said Jai Mrug, an independent political analyst based in Mumbai who carries out political opinion polls.

Common Touch

“Modi attacked the Congress party and the Gandhi family by saying they are allegedly addicted to corruption and don’t give credence to the opinions of lawmakers,” Mrug said. “On the other hand he tried to connect with common people by emphasizing his moorings as a young tea vendor.”

Delhi police estimated the crowd at 130,000 people, the Hindustan Times reported, without citing anyone.

The main opposition party installed 100 screens across the national capital to increase coverage of Modi’s speech. The venue featured a 100-feet tall poster of Modi, and his speech was displayed on an 80 by 40 foot screen to the audience.

Modi has harnessed technology in election campaigning. He used 3D holograms while campaigning in Gujarat in December and has more than 2.4 million followers on Twitter, the highest of any Indian lawmaker.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew MacAskill in New Delhi at; Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at

September 29, 2013 4:27 pm

Modi accuses Gandhi dynasty of ‘strangling democracy’ in India

By Amy Kazmin in New Delhi

Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate of India’s Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata party, accused the ruling Congress party’s powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty of “strangling democracy”, as he addressed a huge political rally in New Delhi on Sunday.

Mr Modi, the controversial chief minister of Gujarat state, told hundreds of thousands of people from across India that voters would have to choose between “dynastic rule” and “people’s rule” in next year’s elections – as he lampooned Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party’s heir apparent.

“We need to decide whether India will run on the whims of the crown prince,” he said, later accusing the Congress party of “Gandhi worship”.

The rousing campaign rally – Mr Modi’s first important appearance in the Indian capital, comes just two days after Mr Gandhi stunned the Congress party, its coalition partners and the nation, with a scathing attack on an emergency ordinance passed by the cabinet that would override a recent Supreme Court verdict and allow convicted criminals to serve as elected lawmakers.

The Supreme Court decision had been widely welcomed by a public deeply disillusioned by the quality of its elected lawmakers, about 30 per cent of whom have criminal charges pending against them.

However, the Congress party had been concerned about what the court ruling would mean for a crucial coalition ally, who is awaiting an imminent verdict in a decades-old corruption case.

While many Indians agree with Mr Gandhi’s comments that the ordinance is “complete nonsense and should be torn up,” many have questioned the timing of his intervention, after the ordinance had already been approved by the government led by his party and sent to the president for approval.

In his speech, Mr Modi argued that the Congress party had become “addicted to corruption, the way an alcoholic needs alcohol”. He declared that India was urgently in need of “good governance” to help it realise its potential and urged the electorate to vote for change next year.

“The country needs a dream team, not a dirty team,” he said.

Mr Modi’s speech was a masterful performance, calculated to appeal both to the aspirations and insecurities of India’s emerging middle class – and to the hundreds of millions of people who aspire to join them without any clear means of getting there.

In his electrifying rhetoric, the BJP leader reflected the anger Indians feel at the poor state of the country’s infrastructure, the lack of job opportunities, the rapid economic progress made by China, and the way their country is seen on the international stage.

“Our nation has become a matter of jokes and mockery,” he said. He added that it needed “good governance” to help the country realise its potential – and help the vast numbers of young people entering the workforce to find jobs.

Comparing India’s railroad network with China’s, he said: “China has moved ahead while we are still stuck at the same place.”

The opposition candidate also attacked the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, for “marketing India’s poverty” and “begging” on his current trip to the US, where he declared India was a “poor country” before the US president, Barack Obama.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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