Independence," he said at the 42nd anniversary celebrations of Tamil weekly 'Thuglaq', edited by noted political commentator Cho Ramaswamy.
Charging the Congress-led UPA with harping on vote bank politics, he said it had resulted only in "gloom and pessimism".
"Post-Independence, the Congress party's single rule of negative vote bank politics for almost 40 years has spread an atmosphere of gloom and pessimism," he said.
In 2012, the country was faced with many problems such as slowing down of economic growth, menace of terrorism, naxalism, corruption and inflation, Modi said.
Despite increase in the level of aspiration and willingness for hard work on the part of citizens, the country is not moving forward due to lack of direction and leadership at the Central level, he said.
Modi accused the Centre of practising "coercive federalism," besides using government agencies "to target certain states".
While his "Gujarat model of development," had received accolades from all over, the Centre was "reluctant to extend any incentive, leave alone assistance," to the state, he said.
"In fact, the UPA government has spared no stone unturned as part of an individualistic vindictive policy to single out and target certain states only," he alleged, adding agencies like CBI, I-T and Intelligence Bureau were being used for this purpose.
He charged the UPA with using politics of divide and rule which was "eating into the fabric of India".
Citing the Centre rejecting the GujCoc (Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill) Bill, "without weighing the gravity of international security," he said it was a "glaring example of Centre's attitude."
The Communal Violence Bill and the bid to reserve 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities were examples of majority-minority vote bank politics, he said. "India is in need of clean and transparent governance in the 21st Century. A strong, stable and transparent leadership in the demand of the time," he added.
On his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa, whose swearing-in ceremony as chief minister he had attended last year, Modi said she was a "courageous and visionary leader capable of making Tamil Nadu as a most progressive state."
"She is a leader who can give good governance and a corruption-free government," he said. - PTI