April 24, 2014 1:54:22 am
On his first campaign tour in Gujarat since Lok Sabha elections were announced, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi Wednesday hit out at the Gandhis for “looting the nation”. Seeking a bigger vote share in Gujarat, he appealed to the people to “make 300 lotuses bloom”.
In a dig at UPA president Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Modi called the Congress-led UPA government a “maa-bete ki sarkar” in Kalol town of Gandhinagar constituency, where senior BJP leader L K Advani is seeking re-election.
Reacting to Priyanka Vadra’s statement in Rae Bareli that she would emerge stronger with every allegation on her husband and family, Modi said, “Since 60 years, you have looted the country and become stronger. The question here is not of you becoming stronger, but of making the country strong. The difference between us and you is that you want to strengthen yourself and we want to strengthen the nation’’.
Modi arrived two hours late at the first stop in Surendranagar from where he went to Kalol, Deesa (Banaskantha), Himmatnagar (Sabarkantha) and Jamnagar.
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Modi told the Kalol crowd that while in India, Robert Vadra’s scams had not been covered, an American paper wrote about it. In Himmatnagar, Modi said the Congress invokes poverty during elections like a student remembers god during exams. “For Rahul bhaiyya, poverty is like tourism. He goes to the home of the poor and gets a photograph taken,” Modi said in Himmatnagar.
In Sabarkantha, Modi said, “You will give me 26 seats, but I will be satisfied only when each and every citizen (of Gujarat) gives me a vote.”
Describing himself as a “boy who ran in the streets of Gujarat and sold tea in railway compartments”, Modi said he saw “god” in the people of Gujarat, without whose “love and affection”, he would have remained an ordinary boy. Calling himself a “lion of Gujarat” who was daring the “sultanate” of the country, he said, “In Gujarat, I want to sleep in the lap of my people like a small child.”
In Kalol, with Advani’s son Jayant by his side, Modi said, “He (Advani) led an impeccable public life devoted to the nation. He is like my father who has always guided me.” However, there was not a single photograph or poster of Advani on the dais, which had a banner that read: “Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar”.
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