Panaji, June 9 (IANS) The Congress is not serious about ruling the country, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday soon after he was declared the head of the BJP's election management committee for next general elections.
Modi, who will now officially spearhead the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, called upon party workers to "rid" India of the Congress.
"We have to rid India of the Congress," Modi said, addressing a meeting of party workers here shortly after his appointment was announced.
He also denounced the Congress for foisting a faulty system with two power centres, one being Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the other party president Sonia Gandhi.
"A country cannot function with two centres of power," Modi said.
Addressing a packed hall with hundreds of party workers, Modi called upon them to dedicate their lives to the cause of the nation.
"There are many workers in the party whose names will never be mentioned in newspapers or on television. There are workers who have dedicated their life to the party and (their) many generations have served the party," Modi said.
Party leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar, Anurag Thakur, Smriti Irani and Manohar Parrikar, among others, were on the dais with Modi. However, important faces like Sushma Swaraj, Murali Manohar Joshi and Venkaiah Naidu were missing.
"Political life is a medium to serve the people. We need to win and come to power so that we can change the system," Modi said.
He said Goa was lucky for him, but did not mention L.K. Advani, who played a crucial role in saving him the last time he was in Goa.
"Goa has a special place in my life. The papers also say that Goa is lucky for Modi. This is the same Goa which in 2002 gave me the go ahead to serve Gujarat," Modi said, recalling that year's BJP national executive meeting which had served as a political springboard for his success.
The 2002 meet had been held against the backdrop of the post-Godhra riots and Modi was under fire from both the opposition as well as a section of the BJP, some of whom were keen that he quit chief ministership.
It was Advani's decision during the BJP meeting in Goa to back him that helped Modi retain his chair. A fact he acknowledges even now.
"If Goa had not given me the permission, I would not have been able to serve in Gujarat. Goa has given me blessings," he said.
While he did not mention Advani specifically, he thanked party leaders for mentoring him.
"I have been mentored by party leaders, and that has moulded me into what I am," Modi said.
"Whatever ability I have, is for the party and the people of the country, and not for myself," he added.