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Ignoring protests outside, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday used a college platform to project himself nationally saying his focus was on development politics and not that of vote-bank, which he said has "ruined" the nation.
As protesters opposed to his visit clashed with police outside the Shri Ram College of Commerce here, he sought to commend the Gujarat model of governance to the rest of the country.
Modi, who is being projected by some BJP leaders as a prime ministerial candidate, contended that there was a sense of despondency all over the country and exuded confidence that the situation can be changed.
"There is a sense of despondency in the country. People feel nothing would change here. All are thieves, everything they do is waste. People consider it a curse to be born in India. They want to leave the country soon after completing their studies," Modi said delivering the Shri Ram Memorial Oration.
His extempore speech was telecast live by news channels.
"But my thought is different. I am chief minister for a fourth term and based on my experience, with the same law, same Constitution, same rules and regulations, same officers, same people, same files, we can move forward. We can do a lot. I am confident that we can change things," he said.
"This nation is being ruined by vote bank politics. This nation requires development politics. If we switch to politics of development, we will soon be in a position to bring about lasting change and progress," Modi said.
Outside the college, students carrying placards like 'Killer Modi', 'Go Back Modi' opposed the invitation by the College to Modi. They tried to break the police cordon and were baton-charged.
In a swipe at Congress, Modi said the growing strength of the country's youth was considered by some politicians as only "new-age voters" and said India's situation will not change like this.