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PM hits out at Cong, calls it anti-Gujarat

DH News Service, Ahmedabad, Oct 16 2017, 21:35 IST

Attempts to pacify BJP's traditional votebank in poll-bound state

 Modi was addressing a sea of saffron brigade at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan on the completion of the BJP's Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, which had begun on October 1. PTI file image.

Modi was addressing a sea of saffron brigade at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan on the completion of the BJP's Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, which had begun on October 1. PTI file image.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday came down heavily on the Congress, calling it anti-Gujarat, even as he tried to pacify his party's traditional votebank in the poll-bound state.

"They (Congress) have looted the country. For me, the country is bigger than the party. For me, the future of the country is more important... To us, this election is for development and to them, it is about furthering the dynasty," the prime minister said.

"The Congress keeps barking on the issue of development. I once had a wish that the Congress would someday fight elections on the issue of development, but they have always focused on communalism, casteism or misleading people. I challenge them that let's fight elections on the agenda of development."

Modi's jibe comes in the wake of a flutter that social media campaign 'vikasgandothayochhe' (development has gone berserk), the cornerstone of the BJP's political campaign agenda over the years, has created in the state.

Modi was addressing a sea of saffron brigade at the Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan on the completion of the BJP's Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, which had begun on October 1. The yatra covered almost 4,500 km across 149 of 182 Assembly seats. The BJP claimed that over 7,00,000 page presidents of the party attended the meet. Each page president is entrusted with the responsibility of reaching out to over 50 voters enlisted on each page of the electoral roll.

Modi told his audience that though there have been allegations of the BJP being an urban party, it has the maximum number of Parliamentarians from the Dalit, OBC, adivasi and farming communities.

"Gujarat has always been an eyesore for this party. History is witness to the way they treated Sardar Patel, his daughter Maniben Patel, Morarji Desai, Babubhai Jashbhai Patel and even Madhavsinh Solanki, who won them a maximum 149 seats in the state," the prime minister said. Madhavsinh is the father of incumbent Congress chief in the state, Bharatsinh Solanki.

The prime minister also touched upon the topic of GST, stating that the BJP alone is not responsible for its existence. "The GST is not run by Parliament or Modi. It is through a group consisting of all the state governments, including those run by the Congress. The Centre is merely one-third... Some people are trying to instigate the trading community that if you fill forms, this is Modi, he will come after you asking for your accounts from the past,” said Modi, assuring the core votebank of the BJP in the state that no such thing would happen.

The prime minister said his government has identified 2.10 lakh shell companies. "So far, we have recovered Rs 4,000 crore from 5,000 such shell companies. Imagine how much money these firms have siphoned. This is Modi. He will recover every rupee from them. This money belongs to the people of this country who suffer daily," he added.

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