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Modi challenges PM for debate on development

Modi challenges PM for debate on development

Ahmedabad: Asserting that the nation is "restless" for a change, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Thursday launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, challenging him for a public debate on pressing issues while accusing him of taking a 'weak' stance on Pakistan.

Modi, BJP's poll campaign committee chief and virtually the party's face for the next Lok Sabha elections, lashed out at Singh in his Independence Day speech shortly after the Prime Minister had addressed the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort.

In his extempore speech, an aggressive Modi criticised Singh on a range of issues including India's response to Pakistan and China, corruption, state of country's economy and food security bill.

"Nation is restless for change," he said.

"You are ruling a big country, we are managing a small state. I challenge the Prime Minister for a debate on the issue of development and good governance between government sitting in Delhi and our government," Modi said in his speech today during the state function on I-Day held at Lalan College ground in Bhuj.

Modi compared the speech of President Pranab Mukherjee delivered on the eve of Independence Day with that delivered by the Prime Minister today and criticised the latter for not being tough in his speech on Pakistan.

"The President has expressed his concern on the issue of killing of five of our soldiers. I had expected Prime Minister will raise the same concerns, but he has failed to talk tough," Modi said.

Mukherjee had yesterday warned Pakistan that "patience has limits" and all "necessary steps" will be taken to ensure internal security and protect territorial integrity.

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