Gujarat polls: Modi attacks Congress, says Bharat Jodo Yatra a march for power - Hindustan Times
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Gujarat polls: Modi attacks Congress, says Bharat Jodo Yatra a march for power

Nov 21, 2022 03:32 PM IST

Addressing a rally at Surendranagar in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, Modi on Monday listed the insults Congress has allegedly subjected him to

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sharpened his attack on the Congress in the run-up to the Gujarat polls next month, saying its Bharat Jodo Yatra is not a padayatra (foot march) but a yatra for power without naming Rahul Gandhi, who is leading his party’s biggest public outreach in years from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public meeting in Gujarat’s Surendranagar. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public meeting in Gujarat’s Surendranagar. (ANI)

He accused Congress of calling him names and again attacked it over the participation of activist Medha Patkar, who spearheaded the Narmada Bachao Aandolan to prevent the displacement of locals due to the construction of a dam in Gujarat, in the yatra.

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Modi on Sunday attacked the Congress and Rahul Gandhi for walking with “an anti-Narmada activist” a day after Patkar joined the Maharashtra leg of the yatra.

Addressing a rally at Surendranagar in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, Modi on Monday listed the insults Congress has allegedly subjected him to. Modi added Congress now has to move on and discuss the BJP’s development efforts in Gujarat over the past two decades.

He accused the Congress of keeping the people of Surendranagar, which has been a bastion of the opposition party, without proper drinking water facilities for 40 years. “Now you are walking hand-in-hand in your yatra with those [Patkar] who opposed the Narmada Scheme. The Gujarat voters will punish you in the coming elections.”

Modi has held a series of rallies in Saurashtra as part of his campaign blitz ahead of the elections to the 182-member assembly on December 1 and 5. He has crisscrossed the state from Saurashtra to Surat during his current three-day visit to the state. The votes will be counted on December 8.

Modi said the Congress, which has been out of power in Gujarat for around three decades, says it will put him in his place. “You [Congress] are the party of a princely family, and I am from an ordinary family.”

Modi also took a dig at the analysts and experts, saying anti-incumbency is the first point of their analysis ahead of the elections in Gujarat, where the BJP has been in power for 27 years. “But the voters in Gujarat have changed the political ritual in the last two decades. For Gujarat voters, it is a pro-incumbency government and they do not want to change their political affiliations.”

Modi said it is not him, chief minister Bhupendra Patel, or the BJP candidates, who are contesting the elections. “...It is my mothers, sisters, daughters, and the voters of Gujarat who are contesting the elections. I appeal to the young voters that this election is for your bright future. The next five years for BJP in Gujarat will decide your glorious future in 25 years.”

He added those doing padyatras do not know about cotton and groundnut farming in Surendranagar. “It is the 24-hour electricity under the Jyotigram Yojana and irrigation water from the Narmada that has made the farmers and the dairy sector in Gujarat vibrant in the last decade,” he said.

“Show me a single Congress leader who thought of bringing Narmada waters to Surendranagar through the Sauni Yojana. Will you let them rule...they do not care about the people of Gujarat? They [Congress] curse the people of Gujarat in other states. They speak in harsh language about the vibrant Gujarat model.”

Modi, who became Gujarat’s longest-serving chief minister between 2001 and 2014, said Jyotigram Yojana and Narmada waters have brought prosperity to Surendranagar.

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