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Narendra Modi borrows Advani’s ‘rath’ for state yatra

Move seen as bid to set at rest speculation about differences between veterans ahead of polls.

Written by Express News Service | Gandhinagar | Updated: February 5, 2014 6:14:59 pm

As he sets out on a gruelling month-long journey across the state on September 11 as part of his election campaign,Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will use the hi-tech “chariot” that his mentor L K Advani rode during his Jan Chetna Yatra last year,a move that is being seen as a bid to set at rest the speculation about differences between the two BJP veterans ahead of the crucial Assembly polls in the state due late this year.

On September 11,Modi will begin Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra from Becharaji in Mehsana district,setting out on the state-of-the-art air conditioned “chariot” fitted with a hydraulic elevator.

Briefing mediapersons on Modi’s campaign,state BJP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Rupani said the vehicle used by Advani had already arrived in Gujarat.

Interestingly,Advani himself was forced to start his Jan Chetna Yatra from Bihar after he reportedly got a cold response from Modi over flagging it off from Somnath in Gujarat,the place from where he had taken out his famous Ram Rath Yatra in 1990.

“The state BJP will organise a parallel yatra across the state three-four days before where the CM begins his yatra famous the famous temple town of Becharaji,which is near the site of upcoming Maruti Suzuki’s car manufacturing plant. During the campaign,the CM will cover 150 places in all 182 Assembly constituencies. The yatra is scheduled to end on October 11,which is Jayprakash Narayan’s birth anniversary,” Rupani said.

The last time Modi undertook a similar exercise was in September-October 2002,when he took out his “Gaurav

Yatra” ahead of Assembly elections. He was returned to power with majority.

At present,the state government is in the middle of a month-long Vandhambhi Vikas Yatra and Garib Kalyan Melas (GKM),but these mainly involve ministers and officials,with the CM choosing to address some of these functions through video-conferencing from his residence in Gandhingar. The state government has set aside Rs 75 crore for Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

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