BJP eyes Delhi route to rule India

New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday sounded its poll bugle with party chief Rajnath Singh saying win in the Delhi assembly polls would ensure victory in the 2014 national elections.

"Delhi is the heart of the nation. If we win here, we will win the country," Rajnath Singh exhorted over 1,000 workers while launching the party's campaign at the Talkatora Stadium here for the assembly polls scheduled for the year-end.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been out of power in Delhi for 14 years.

The BJP chief slammed the ruling Congress, saying its 14 years of rule in the national capital has resulted in half the population living in slums.

He urged the workers to "stay united and work hard" and said they should highlight the shortcomings of the Congress government among the people, who were looking for a change.

Other leaders, including former party chief and now in charge of Delhi Nitin Gadkari, attacked the Sheila Dikshit government for the poor condition of roads, costly power, lack of quality education in government schools, and high prices of essential food items.

Both Rajnath and Gadkari said the BJP-headed National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government 1998-2004 was better than the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and would provide solutions to the many problems being faced by residents of Delhi and the people of the country.

"It is time to uproot the Congress from Delhi and then from the country," said Gadkari, mentioning about corruption scandals, including the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum and the coal block allocations during the UPA regime.

State BJP chief Vijay Goel promised round-the-clock drinking water and 30 percent cheaper electricity for all residents and safety to women if his party came to power.

"We are going with a positive agenda of development," he said.

He said the event was organised Sep 17 as it happened to be the birthday of the party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

Almost all the leaders who spoke on the occasion praised Modi, whose cutout was prominently displayed on the dais, saying he reflected "a hope for the country suffering under Congress rule at the centre".

"Congress has no name to counter Modi," said former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu.

"Ten years of Modi's rule has made Gujarat a model state for development," said Rajnath Singh.

"Not only in India, Modi is being praised around the world," he said.

Party worker from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh Ram Janm Yogi, who blew a conch shell for five minutes without losing his breath, got a standing ovation from the house, including the top leaders on the dais and the workers seated in the stadium.

"The campaign has been launched. Go to the people now and ensure party's victory," said Rajnath Singh.

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