Claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win bypolls to all the eight Assembly constituencies in the state and that the defeats would be the last nail in Congress coffin, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday said that Congress leadership had failed, making it difficult for “sannishtha (sincere)” individuals to be part of that party.
“These bypolls are important… they are an opportunity to hammer the last nail in the coffin of Congress. We have to defeat Congress from all the eight seats… Now, is the time to bury the Congress in its tomb,” Rupani said while addressing an election rally in Naliya village of Abadasa taluka of Kutch district.
The rally marked the formal beginning of BJP’s campaign for by-elections to Abadasa, Morbi, Limbdi, Gadhda, Dhari, Karjan, Kaprada and Dangs Assembly constituencies in the state that had fallen vacant due to the resignations of sitting Congress MLAs in the run up to the Rajya Sabha election in June this year.
Of the eight MLAs who quit as legislators and members of Congress party, Pradyumansinh Jadeja (Abdasa), Brijesh Merja (Morbi), JV Kakadiya (Dhari), Akshay Patel (Karjan) and Jitu Chaudhary (Kaprada) have since defected to the BJP and are contesting the bypolls on BJP tickets. The defections had ruined Congress prospects of winning two of the four Rajya Sabha seats, while helping the BJP grab three of them.
“The Congress has become a sinking ship. It is not possible for sannishtha (sincere) people to be part of that party. In 2017, almost 11 MLAs, led by Shankersinh Vaghela, deserted Congress and 15 more MLAs resigned after Amitbhai (Chavda) become Congress president. This means, the Congress leadership has been found wanting… Instead of admitting its mistake, Congress is indulging in levelling accusations against us. But people know this very well and BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, has been growing as Congress is withering,” the CM said while interacting with media on the sidelines of the election meeting.
Polling for the eight Assembly constituencies is scheduled to be conducted on November 3 while counting of votes will be taken up on November 10.
Expressing confidence of winning all eight seats, the CM said, “All these seats were with Congress but now we are going to win all of them… Eno earth e thayo ke jetlo vakro etlo nafo amne thavano chhe. Gumavavanu Congress ne chhe (Whatever sale happens, the profit is for us. It is the Congress that stands to lose).”
Rupani said that work of digging canals of Narmada dam projects in Kutch will be completed soon. “Every 15 days, we are holding a meeting to review the progress of work in Kutch. Shortage of drinking water a matter of past in Kutch. Now, we shall do the same with the shortage of irrigation water in the district. Farmers of Kutch will not earn rupees but dollars by exporting their crops,” said Rupani at the rally.
The CM also accused the Congress of delaying completion of Narmada dam project and highlighted that it was Modi who, after taking over as Prime Minister in 2014, ensured that permission to install floodgates on the dam was given.
“Congress has no right to talk about farmers. It did not complete Narmada project even as farmers were dying for irrigation water. It never procured even a grain from farmers at minimum support price but my government has procured produce worth Rs 15,000 crore in the past three years,” said Rupani.
He also claimed that Congress had never worked to protect the interests of Muslims and had merely used the community as a vote bank. “Let the Muslims of Abdasa send a signal that it is no longer with Congress,” Rupani said. Muslims are the single largest group of voters in Abadasa Assembly constituency.
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