India’s Opposition Leader Takes on Congress and Corruption

The BJP's Narendra Modi, running for PM in polls this year, spells out his vision for India

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From setting up “smart cities” and “zero tolerance against corruption” to building specialist hospitals in every state and overhauling industry, Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate promised the moon and more to Indian voters in a wide-ranging speech Sunday.

Modi has been pulled up for months by critics for slamming the ruling Congress party’s policies but rarely coming up with alternatives. However, his idea of India is “wishful thinking” in parts even if “progressive and holistic” in others, says an editorial in the Hindustan Times.

During his 75-minute speech, Modi said Congress’ failure to name a prime ministerial candidate was an admission of defeat.

A superior orator and experienced administrator, Modi is credited with the economic development with Gujarat and many see him as the leader India needs to reverse its ailing economic fortunes. However, while he has never been charged with any crimes, his alleged complicity in the 2002 communal riots that killed many Muslims continues to haunt him.

His speech (in Hindi) is featured below.