10 May :Claiming the NDA was gaining strength day by day, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani has said the Congress-led UPA, on the other hand, which started with a bang, was disintegrating.
Launching a blistering attack on the Manmohan Singh government at an NDA rally in Ludhiana on Sunday, attended by a galaxy of leaders, he said it had no achievements to its credit during its five-year rule.
"On the one hand, there is the NDA which is going strong for the past 11 years. On the other, the UPA, which started with a bang, has completely distintegrated," Advani said.
"The constituents are now leaving the UPA," he said.
Countering the Congress’ charge that the NDA was a sinking ship, he said "if we have lost one ally, we have gained five".To reinforce his point, he referred to the presence of seven Chief ministers and other leaders at the NDA rally.
Slamming the UPA dispensation, Advani said right from the time of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru he had been in active politics fighting elections as a candidate or as a campaigner "but it is for the first time I am seeing a government which has no achievements to its credit."
Admitting the NDA had lost power in 2004 due to "over confidence" with everyone painting a rosy picture of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, Advani said "this is not the case now."
In 2004, everyone believed that the NDA would win as its government had undertaken many development works including construction of the highways, he said.
"The feeling was that who will vote against us. However, we lost not because of the slogan (given by the Congress) about ‘Aam Aadmi ki Saarkar’ but due to our over confidence," the BJP stalwart said.
"There is no over confidence this time and this will work in our favour," he said.
This time the mandate would go in favour of the NDA which only could run the country effectively and take it to the path of development, he said.
"After seeing all the NDA constituents on the dais, I am confident this will send a positive and strong message to the people," Advani said describing the gathering as a "historic".
Accusing the UPA government of being biased towards NDA-ruled states, the BJP’s Prime Minister-in-waiting said this was not the case when the NDA was in power.
The BJP veteran lamented that even more than 60 years after independence, the people were still living below the poverty line with villagers not even getting potable water.
He said the right to have clean drinking water should be made a fundamental right.
Wooing farmers, Advani said they should be provided pension on the pattern of government employees.
He said improving the lot of farmers and soldiers were on the agenda of party’s poll manifesto.
During his speech, Advani mentioned strong ties between the BJP and the SAD which are sharing power in Punjab.