Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi on Thursday took a jibe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "better times ahead" remark at an NRI meet while attacking UPA and said scandals, policy paralysis and divisive politics has hit people's perception and trust in the government and its leaders.
Addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas plenary session, Modi exhorted NRIs to participate in the election process by voting and helping in the "revolution" taking place in the country.
"The Prime Minister said a good thing yesterday. He said good days are coming very soon and there is nothing to feel dejected. I agree with the Prime Minister. I don't want to say anything more. Maybe, you should wait for four to six months. Good days are surely coming," the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate said, indicating that his party would form the next government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls.
Modi's jibe at Singh came a day after the Prime Minister sought to dispel apprehensions among the Indian diaspora on the state of the economy, saying that the country was heading towards "better times" and there was no reason to despair about its present or worry about the future.
In his written speech distributed at the meet, Modi slammed the UPA government, saying, "The last decade in particular has witnessed unprecedented depths of petty politics, self interest and exploitation overwhelming the exalted principles of inclusive and sustainable nation building.
"A deteriorating economy; unrelenting stream of scandals and corruption exposes; poor delivery of basic services; policy paralysis, stagnating society and an overall atmosphere of divisive politics - has severely hit the people's perception of and trust in the government and its leaders."
To a question on corruption, he said the focus must change from dealing with the issue after surfacing of scams to that which helps to prevent corruption.
"There is a lot of post-corruption discussion in our country. Somebody talks about Lokpal or Jan Lokpal. We should change the focus on corruption and instead of focussing on post-corruption, we should take steps so that corruption does not take place," Modi said
To remove corruption, he suggested that states must be policy-driven and rules should be in put in place in black and white and favoured the use of technology for bringing in transparency on the lines of what Gujarat has done.
The Gujarat chief minister felt happy that states were competing with each other and nations were wanting to deal with them directly instead through the Centre.
"For a federal structure like India, I take this as a good indicative. I consider this as a good sign... an atmosphere has been created where there is healthy competition among states over development. It is good, as everyone feels we should deliver and move forward," he said.
He lamented that even after decades of independence, the country has not been able to make transition from "Swarajya" (freedom) to "Surajya" (good governance) and said morality has been thrown out of governance and trust has been the biggest victim.
Slamming the government, he said, "A government of Acts rather than Action, has paralysed India's polity into one of promises over performance. Institutions have been destroyed. A misleading sense of entitlement has further highlighted the missing delivery mechanism."
He said the only thing holding back the nation brimming with potential and energy was the lack of good governance which "must change" and exhorted the country's leadership to rise to the challenge and firmly place good governance and good administration on the agenda.
As India completes 75 years of independence in 2022, Modi said it was possible that India develops to be globally competitive and admired as well as be locally inspiring and inclusive and gave the slogan of "United India - Grand India".
He also invoked Mahatma Gandhi for taking the nation forward and asked the Centre to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary five years later in a big way, as also the centenary year of Gandhi's return to India.
Asking Indians abroad to participate in bringing a "change" in the country, he said NRIs should not be seen for their investment but should utilise their experience in India.
"India faces a water shed election in a few months. At this crucial juncture in our nation's history, you too should not stay back. You must be a part of the revolution taking place. Try and come back to vote at the time of elections. If that is not possible, actively engage with the political process from wherever you are," he said.