Pitching himself firmly as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate even before being formally anointed, Narendra Modi today launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on national security and challenged him for a public debate on governance, saying the nation is “restless for change“.

He also slammed the Prime Minister for India’s “weak and feeble” response to provocations from Pakistan and China and attacked him over a variety of issues ranging from corruption to the Centre’s flagship Food Security Bill.

Modi, who had yesterday said that the nation would compare his speech with the Prime Minister’s on Independance Day, repeatedly referred to President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the nation last evening to flag concerns about national security.

“The President says patience has limits. What is the limit, where is the border line? It has to be decided by the government in Delhi. How long will we be patient?

“The question is not of Pakistan alone. Today, national security is under threat. The Chinese intrude into our land and we keep mum. When Italian soldiers come and kill our fishermen, when Pakistanis behead our soldiers, we get concerned,” Modi said in his Independence Day address at a college in Bhuj.

Modi, BJP’s election campaign committee chief, deplored that the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech did not have a tough message for Pakistan.

“I know the constraints of the Prime Minister due to imperatives of international relations, the need for having good relations with neighbours. Lal Quila is not a place to challenge Pakistan but it is definitely a place from where the morale of Indian army can be raised,” he said.

(This article was published on August 15, 2013)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.