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Modi kicks off campaign: ‘We made this Gujarat’

Addressing his first election rally in his home state after the announcement of poll dates, Modi also warned that those who try to spread hatred or “defame” Gujarat would be “wiped out” from the state.

PM Narendra Modi with Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel. (PTI Photo)

Invoking Gujarati pride and identity, saying it was the people who had built the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday kicked off the BJP’s campaign for the Gujarat Assembly polls with a new slogan: “We have made this Gujarat”. “Aa Gujarat, mein banavyu chhe (I have made this Gujarat),” he asked the crowd to chant at repeated intervals.

Addressing his first election rally in his home state after the announcement of poll dates, Modi also warned that those who try to spread hatred or “defame” Gujarat would be “wiped out” from the state. His speech set the tone for the BJP’s campaign in a triangular contest with the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is seen as an outsider.

Without taking any names, Modi said: “Gujarat has never accepted those who spread hatred. It has wiped out all those who have tried to defame it, who have tried to dismiss it. They are going to meet the same fate in this election… The gangs (tolki) who are defaming Gujarat, the gangs that are always looking for ways to defame the state… Gujarat has seen through them… in these two decades.”

“So they are troubled… that why is it not making a difference to the people of Gujarat. It is not making a difference because the people have worked day and night to build this Gujarat,” he said.

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“The poll date is decided… let us remember that the lotus (BJP’s poll symbol) is our candidate… the lotus has helped Gujarat become prosperous,” said Modi.
“Every Gujarati, be it an Adivasi or a fisherman, be it a villager or an urban dweller, is full of confidence today. That is why every Gujarati says, ‘I have made this Gujarat’. People have built this state with their hard work,” he said.

“Every Gujarati is full of confidence, that is the reason why every Gujarati speaks the voice of the inner soul. Every sound comes from the heart of Gujarat (saying) ‘Aa Gujarat, mein banavyu chhe (I have made this Gujarat)’,” he said.

He made the audience chant “Aa Gujarat, mein banavyu chhe” several times during his 25-minute-long speech in tribal-dominated Nana Pondha village in Kaprada taluka of Valsad district.

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This comes a day after Modi, while addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh, linked every vote for the BJP to himself. “You don’t have to remember (any BJP candidate). Simply remember the lotus,” he had told the crowd. “If you see ‘kamal ka phool’ while casting your vote, understand that this is the BJP, this is Modi who has come to you. Your every vote for ‘kamal ka phool’ will come directly to Modi’s account as a blessing,” he had said.

In Gujarat on Sunday, Modi said: “This time, the BJP will break all the old records of victory. I will come here regularly, whenever needed. I have come here to break my own victory record… I have come here so that Bhupendra (Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel) can break the record of Narendra… This election is not fought by Narendra or Bhupendra, it is fought by my brothers and sisters.”

Referring to the school enrolment programme he had launched in Gujarat as CM, Modi said: “I remember, about 20-25 years back, our daughters…would drop out after Class 1, 2, or 5… I would go village to village with our ‘kanya kelavani’ rath, and our team of ministers would seek, as alms, a promise to educate the daughters”.

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“Two decades ago, Gujarat witnessed an earthquake. At that time, people said Gujarat will not stand up again. We faced all the challenges, and Gujaratis have taken Gujarat ahead. Each and every Gujarati person has made Gujarat,” he said.

The Gujarat elections will be held in two phases, on December 1 and 5, with the results on December 8. The BJP has won six consecutive assembly elections in the state since 1995. The BJP’s peak performance in Gujarat came in the December 2002 elections under Modi, when the party had bagged 127 of the total 182 seats. In 2017, its tally shrunk to 99, while the Congress got 77.

First published on: 07-11-2022 at 04:15 IST
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