Toronto, Apr 16: In a Madison Square-like event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wowed diaspora Indians with jibes at the UPA government when he pledged to clean up the "mess left behind" and change the country's image from the one of "scams" to that of a "skilled" nation.
"Khem cho" (how are you), he started in Gujarati as he addressed a huge gathering of Indians flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, clad in a dark blue sari.
"The country (India) is facing many challenges. And there is only one medicine," he said as the crowds shouted "Modi, Modi". He said it is not him but something called "'vikas' (development) is the solution to all the problems of the country....only development can take the country forward."
Making a veiled dig at the previous government, the Prime Minister, said, "Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh kar ke chaley gaye. Lekin hum safai karenge (Those who had to create the mess, they had done and left. There is a lot of mess. We will clear it up and go," Modi said, without taking any name.
"The nation is huge. There is a lot of mess. It has been there for long. It will take time but it (cleaning) will be done as the attitude of people has changed," said, Modi who was wearing an yellow kurta and sporting an orange angavastram.
"Earlier, the country was known as 'scam-India'. We want it to be known as 'skilled-India'," he said in yet another attack on the previous regime during which scams tumbled out as the gathering lapped up what he said with cheers.
The reception hosted by Harper at the Ricoh Coliseum was attended by a huge number of Indians, who have settled in Canada for decades, and the event was a replica of an address Modi made at the Madison Square in New York during his visit there last year.