At Rahul Gandhi’s last election rally in Gandhinagar, various members of the audience expressed disappointment with the BJP government over a number issues, some calling the government one for the rich.
At the Sabarmati riverfront, BJP workers and a few party candidates from Ahmedabad, including Bhupendra Patel from Ghatlodiya and sitting MLA and state Women and Child Development Minister Nirmala Wadhwani, were seen waiting for the PM.
"I will definitely speak truth without any fear, not using any bad word. He is yours, Gujarat, and even my Prime Minister,” Rahul said at an election rally in Gandhinagar as he wrapped up the day’s campaigning.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel, too, put out a tweet, giving three reasons for the absence of a BJP manifesto: “... This is because - 1. Vikas was never their agenda, 2. They don’t want to answer questions about 2012 promises, 3. They have realised that their defeat is certain.”
Following Cyclone Ockhi, Hirabhai was worried about crop damage. “We are sure we will not get insurance. When it was not provided to us following the July flood, we should not expect any after this rain either.”
“My problem is, you can oppose the BJP, but why stoop to such a low level that you are opposing development of the country.” PM Modi said if leaders of the Congress have a problem with the bullet train project, they can “roam around on bullock carts”.
In an oblique reference to Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor’s presence in the Congress camp, Modi said the social fabric of Gujarat cannot be vitiated on caste or sectoral lines for electoral benefits.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, deputy CM Nitin Patel and BJP Gujarat unit chief Jitu Vaghani, who recently made peace with Karadia Rajputs, who were protesting against him in his constituency, will contest from the same seats: Rajkot West, Mehsana and Bhavnagar West, respectively.
Criticising the Modi government over its demonetisation move and also raising the issue of corruption, Rahul Gandhi said: “When the people were queuing up outside banks, the thieves of India were collecting their black money behind the scenes."
Not interested in getting pictures clicked with the actor-turned politician, 61-year-old Ashutosh Bhatt said, “I told her that we are not interested in selfies and would like to share our problems with her, the purpose for which she was here."
The city’s private schools had also received similar “direction” for participation in the Run for Unity. Their participation was, however, not cancelled. Nearly, 2,000 students from city’s private schools participated in the event.
The principal of one of these schools revealed, “Among all other facilities, a safai kamdar and a watchman are the basic facilities that these school have not been provided. Many a times, we are forced to ask students to keep a watch at the school gate.”
Since its inception in June this year, says schoolteacher Rakesh Patel, the student body has also helped in getting students more involved in the day-to-day running of the school, which primarily caters to tribal children.
The BJP-ruled Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s standing committee was convened Friday to finalise a mega event for Sunday where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is expected to inaugurate development works worth Rs 780 crore.