NDA will reverse economic slowdown: Advani

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Stating that the economic situation under the UPA government had worsened in the country because of mismanagement, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani today promised to reverse the slowdown and put back the country on the track of speedy and broadbased development if given a mandate by the people.

Making a strong plea to the students of Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management here, Mr Advani asked students to take interest in politics of the country for social transformation and nation building.

Mr Advani also promised to unveil bold policies and take strong steps to reverse the slowdown. ''We shall turn the global crisis into an opportunity for India. This is my promise,'' he said.

Conceding that the political class in the country had failed to preserve and nurture the idealism flowered during the freedom movement or the movement to save democracy in the 1970s, he said the people had developed a negative and cynical approach towards politics and politicians. They tend to see all leaders as corrupt, self-serving and unscrupulous in pursuit of power. It has been the endeavour of the BJP to change this perception. The change can come when more and more idealistic young people join political activity, he added.

''I take this opportunity to make an appeal to the youth to become politically active,'' he said.

Mr Advani said techno-savvy youths had an aspiration to build an India that can provide world class education, good opportunities for all and a country where an individual is defined by what he is and not by the family, region or caste he was born. ''I pledge to work for these ideals wherever we are in office and whenever we are in office,'' he remarked.

He said the previous NDA government had launched ambitious Golden Quadrilateral project to build world class roads but it had slowed down under the UPA Government. '' The future NDA Government will more than make up for the lost years,'' Mr Advani said. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government had transformed the communication scenario in the country through bold policies and today almost every individual was having a mobile phone services in urban areas. The Internet and e-mail had become order of the day, he asserted.

"My party is a forward-looking party with modern vision and wants the country to benefit from the best of science and technology can provide,'' he said.

Mr Advani said the Pokhran II tests had made the world look at India with greater respect. India's impressive strides in business and economic development had totally changed national perception within the country and the world's perception about India.

He said this was the reason young technologists were preferring to stay back in India because the job and living conditions in the country had improved. The global meltdown was because of the financial crisis in United States. The situation in India had worsened because of the mismanagement of the economy by those in the UPA Government.

''If the young people have concerns about employment opportunities, I want to assure that the NDA, if voted to power, will deal with the economic situation firmly and intelligently unveiling bold policies and strong steps to reverse the slowdown,'' he promised.

UNI MCN RL AS1810

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