A very packed Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium awaited BJP’s poll panel chief Narendra Modi in Hyderabad on Sunday. Modi addressed lakhs of people — those present in the stadium as well as those outside it and those who were watching his address in cinema theatres across the State.
The occasion was made doubly memorable by the vision Modi presented for a united future of India. The stadium was prepared well for the gathering but the large images that decorated it were not those of BJP leaders — they were images of national figures such as Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, and Alluri Sitaramaraju.
Asking the people of Andhra Pradesh what Congress has ever done for the State, Modi said that the Government in Delhi rests on the strength of the MPs Andhra Pradesh has given it. “The Government in Dillidoes not care about what happens to this country,” Modi said.
“Several new States have been created in recent memory. Nowhere was the occasion marked by anything other than celebration. Why must the parting of Telangana be the cause of violence and dissatisfaction?” Modi asked, drawing attention to the UPA Government’s spectacular mismanagement of the Telangana issue.
Modi wondered what happened to the promise that Manmohan Singh had made after Pakistani Army men beheaded two Indian jawans along the Line of Control. Manmohan had said that if such acts of aggression were repeated, Pakistan will suffer consequences.
“Now when the Pakistani Army, this week, shot our jawans dead, I want to ask the Prime Minister: What is the reason a country of 125 crore is silently tolerating when Pakistan is going back on its promise one by one?”
Taking the argument forward, Modi expressed shock that instead of taking a strong stand against countries like China encroaching upon Indian territory, the Congress-led UPA Government bends over backwards in the name of diplomacy and protocol and brings even more humiliation to the country.
“Having biryani with those who have beheaded Indian soldiers — is this protocol?” Modi asked and added, “Is it not adding insult to injury of those who have lost members of their family?”
The most pleasantly unusual part of the event was when the 85-year-old mother of a Sikh man settled in Canada came to visit Modi on the stage and he, in all humility, touched her feet and sought her blessings.
Modi ended his speech by chanting — and his audience joined him in this — “Yes we can!” “Yes we’ll do!” and “Vande mataram!”
Narendra Modi live in Hyderabad
5:56 pm: The Rs 10 lakh collected through the audience members' Rs 5 donations is presented to BJP national secretary Satish Singh.
5:53 pm: Modi asks his audience to raise their voice and repeat with him: Chants of "Yes we can!" -- "Jai Telangana." -- "Jai Seemandhra!" -- Vande!" fill the stadium. Modi thus ends his address.
5:52 pm: The Government should have only one religion -- India First. Only one sacred scripture -- the Constitution. Only one power -- people power. Only one worship -- 1.25 billion citizens of India.
5:49 pm: There was a time, says Modi, when people from the world over used to come to India to study. Now we have lost that treasure. Our youth is heading outwards to seek their future.
5:46 pm: India's coastal States, in an age of export and import, can be empowered to become self-sufficient. But despite several requests to organise a meeting of these States, nothing was done by the Central Government. What we have instead, is a depreciated Rupee.
5:44 pm: Andhra lags behind on the skill-development front. Modi asks Andhra Pradesh Congres leaders to learn from Tamil Nadu's Jayalalithaa Government. Chhattisgarh too, under Chief Minister Raman Singh has made great advances in PDS sytem. Madhya Pradesh has, through the Ladli Lakshi Scheme, made life easier for the girl child. Delhi on the other hand, has been ruled by one family for decades and still not managed to change the state of affairs.
5:41 pm: Modi says that be it land, air, or sea, Congress has left no corner untouched in its corruption enterprise. LK Advani demanded that the illegal money stashed overseas be brought back, but the Government rejected this demand. Whose money is it, Modi asks.
5:40 pm: Modi says he wants to recall NTR, who had worked, not only for the benefit of AP, but of the whole nation. Modi expresses confidence that who believe that a Congress-Mukt bharat is the way to go, will not leave any stone unturned in making NTR's dreams reality.
5:36 pm: Modi points out that there was a time when there was no need to declare that a shop sold 'shuddh ghee'. In the days of Vajpayee, there was no need for a Food Security Bill. But the Government that has robbed poor people of their bread, is now announcing Food Security Bill. Congress only speaks of 'inclusive growth', but works on the basis of exclusivism.
5:34 pm: Modi asks why the separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh had to be such a painful affair? Gujarat has 6 lakh Telugu brothers and sisters. If Gujarat can accommodate Telugu people, then Andhra Pradesh can live with Telangana as well. He wishes that Telangana would surpass even Gujarat in terms of development.
5:28 pm: Modi points out that Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are the two States in India with the highest suicide rates. Congress, which maintains its power at the Centre with MPs from Andhra Pradesh, has done little for the State.
5:26 pm: Italian Marines commit murders in India and are allowed to return to their country. Only when the Indian Supreme Court flex its muscle, did they come back. Modi asks if people are worried about the state of the nation. He receives a resounding yes from the audience. In response, Modi says he is worried about the youth of the nation.
5:24 pm: Modi asks if having biryani with those who have beheaded Indian soldiers is part of protocol. Is it not an act of adding insult to injury of those who have lost members of their family, Modi asks.
5:22 pm: Modi says that BSF troops stationed at Bangladesh border have been instructed to allow intruders to cross the border if they are in large numbers. He speaks also of how the Congress Government allowed China to stroll into Indian territory.
5:20 pm: Modi says that BJP leader Arun Jaitley was on his way to Kishtwar to take stock of things. But he was detained at the Jammu Airport itself. It is not just about the people of Kishtwar. Our failure to curb instances of violence at our borders have implications for the entire nation's sovereignty.
5:16 pm: Modi says the nation is going through dire times. Our Prime Minister had promised that Pakistan will have to pay when two indian jawans were beheaded near the LoC. But a few days ago, five more Indian jawans were killed by Pakistani Army members. What happened to the Prime Minister's promise? Why is it that Pakistan is allowed to go on committing such atrocities and a nation of 1.25 billion remains silent.
5:14 pm: Modi says that though the stadium is full, there are twice as many young people listening from outside the stadium. He promises that he will, at the first possible opportunity, return to Andhra Pradesh.
5:12 pm: Modi talks of a Sikh family settled in Andhra Pradesh whose son is settled in Canada. The mother of this son came to visit him and he had the good fortune of seeking her blessings. At a time when people are losing their trust in leaders, such gestures touch him.
5:10 pm: September 17, Modi says, is both Hyderabad liberation day and his birthday. Modi compliments the youth of Andhra Pradesh for having contributed Rs 5 to attend the event. The money, Modi says, will go towards the Uttarakhand flood relief effort.
5:07 pm: Narendra Modi begins speaking. Speaking his fisrt few words in Telugu, Modi thanks all present and pays his tribute to Telugu people.
5:03 pm: An 85-year-old lady whose son is currently in Canada, has come to personally meet Narendra Modi. Modi pays her his respects by touching her feet.
4:59 pm: Venkaiah Naidu is not short on energy. He exudes immense confidence and says that he is confident that people will support the BJP.
4:54 pm: Naidu points out that the BJP thinks of nation first and then about the self. Congress, by contrast, thinks of itself first and then, if anything is left, it spares a thought for the nation.
4:52 pm: Vankaiah Naidu, through amusing wordplay, exposes the divisive nature of the Congress and how it has imposed a divided way of thinking on the nation as well.
4:48 pm: Former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu takes to the stage and makes the case for a unified nation in pursuit of a golden future.
4:47 pm: Narendra Modi stands and pays his respects to an elderly lady at the event.
4:42 pm: BJP flags wave from inside the crowd and people join the chorus of "Bharat Mata kii Jai" along with Kishen Reddy.
4:37 pm: That Modi speaks for a cause beyond parties and political affiliations is evident from the fact that the presence of giants like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has been honoured at the event.
4:29 pm: Youth have turned up (and continue to flow in) for the event in overwhelming numbers.
4:25 pm: Kishen Reddy, BJP AP president is now introducing Modi.