With supporters egging him on with chants of 'PM, PM', Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi put his victory in the assembly polls squarely at his own doorstep - development work done by his government.
He was addressing a gathering of workers and leaders at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Delhi that sought to felicitate him on his win in the state.
Modi himself did little to camouflage his future ambitions, saying he will work hard to shoulder any responsibility that the party gives him.
"As a BJP worker, whatever responsibility is given to me by the party I will fulfill them. In the past, whatever responsibilities have been given to me, I have shouldered them with full dedication."
"For a dozen years, I and my government have done hard work and the people of Gujarat have voted for us because of that," he said as cheers lustily broke out.
Old timers pointed out that it was after several years that such an enthusiastic crowd, estimated to be around 1,500, gathered at the party headquarters.
BJP leaders in the gathering were clearly seen as uncomfortable as the demand for the party to name Modi its prime ministerial candidate grew shriller.
Under-fire BJP chief Nitin Gadkari was the first to take to the stage at the event and was fulsome in his praise saying Modi had given an invaluable 'tohfa' (gift) to the party.
However, the crowd, consisting mostly of party workers from Delhi and Haryana, made it clear that Modi is their hero, forcing Gadkari into the shadows.
Modi, later on in his thanksgiving speech said that he had never thought he would ever be welcomed in the party office with such warmth and respect. "There is a special reason for this. I have spent some very important years of my life at the party headquarters – 11, Ashoka Road - in a small kholi (room)," Modi said, recounting his days as one of the less significant workers of the party.
Modi was not one to forego this opportunity to outline his grandiose plans for the country on the lines of the 'Gujarat model.
Aside from denigrating the work done by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Modi did not elaborate on what style he will adopt if and when he becomes the PM, but in a grandiloquent manner told the gathering that the decades of Congress rule including by Indira Gandhi have not been able to provide the poor man adequate sustenance.
Narendra Modi targets Centre over low growth projection
Hitting out at the Centre for its low growth projections, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today charged it with neither having any plan nor the political will to steer the nation forward.
Addressing partymen at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, where he was felicitated by a large number of partymen on his third successive victory in Gujarat, Modi said if the country was reporting growth is was due to the growth by only some states.
"It is unfortunate for the country that there is a sense of sadness and pessimism. You are leading the nation into further pessimism. There is no thought, no action plan, no leadership and no political will to take the country forward," Modi said to a cheering crowd.
Taking a dig at the lower growth projections, the Gujarat Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that the government of India has given growth projections of 8.2 per cent now, against 7.9 per cent achieved last year.
"The whole nation has been called together only for taking the nation 0.3 per cent forward," he rued.
Claiming that Gujarat was moving forward at more than 11 per cent growth rate, Modi said, "there is a lot of mismatch" in the country.
Promising to steer Gujarat to further progress, Modi promised to take the state forward to a level comparable with China. "If China can show its strength in the manufacturing sector, why can't Gujarat do it," he said.
With over 65 per cent of the nation comprising of the youth, he lamented that the country's leadership for failing to involve them in the growth of the nation.
He also slammed the government for not coming out with biannual performance reports on the 20-Point programme after none of the Congress or UPA-ruled states emerged among the top five performing states and said Gujarat has been on top with stellar performance.
"It is difficult to expect or hope anything from the (Central) government," he said.
Thanking his party and workers for the support extended to him in ensuring his victory in three consecutive elections, he told partymen that "there is no alternative to hard work".
Gujarat Chief Minister addresses party workers at BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road, New Delhi:
* I had never imagined that I would get the respect that you have given me at BJP headquarters in Delhi today: Narendra Modi
* Invites BJP workers to come to Gujarat and see the model of administration. Help me make it better, says Modi
* I have fulfilled all responsibilities given to me by my party, says Narendra Modi
* The central leadership has no plan to take the country forward, says Narendra Modi
* There is a huge mismatch between central leadership and Gujarat, one is sliding down, the other won't come down: Modi
It is nice to note that many commentators have replied fittingly to the horrible remarks by one who considers 48% vote is not good enough for Modi. To add to the fitting replies to him by others, we may point out that Congress with about 30% votes is ruining the country financially and culturally led by an imported person. Mulayem with also about 32% votes is looting and vandalizing the biggest state UP. Narendra Modi is the only political leader on whom the young India can hope for resurrecting the nation from looters.