Gujarat elections: Congress, BJP play blame game; no ‘cowards’ like Amit Shah and PM Modi, says Hardik Patelhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/gujarat-assembly-elections-2017/gujarat-elections-modi-rahul-gandhi-play-blame-game-hardik-patel-amit-shah-4960698/

Gujarat elections: Congress, BJP play blame game; no ‘cowards’ like Amit Shah and PM Modi, says Hardik Patel

While PM Modi targetted Congress on its dynastic policies, Rahul Gandhi hit back at BJP over unemployment. Both Modi and Gandhi will address a series of public rallies on Thursday

PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi addressed maratthon rallies in Gujarat on Wednesday. (Source: Twitter)

In what was a star-studded day for Gujarat’s political arena, ace politicians like PM Narendra Modi, Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, UP CM Yogi Adityanath held major public meetings across the state. Returning from Hyderabad, PM Modi addressed four public meetings on Wednesday and targeted the Congress government in his poll pitch to the people.

Speaking at Morbi, Modi slammed Rahul Gandhi over his reference to GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’. The PM dubbed his demand of keeping a uniform 18 per cent GST as ‘Grand Stupid Thought’. “Those who have looted the country can only think of dacoits.”

PM also hit out at the Congress over issues related to delay in launching the Narmada water project and said that Congress was a party of royals and they won’t understand the pain of the poor. “We belong to the heirs of the fakir Gandhi. And they are the Gandhi varisdar who are born with a golden spoon. They do not know how it feels to walk barefoot and have a stone or thorn hurt your feet. It is up to you to choose which Gandhi you want. The fakir or the one with the golden spoon,” the PM said.

Also Read | Rahul Gandhi’s demands of uniform GST rate is ‘Grand Stupid Thought’, says Modi

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi launched the seventh round of Navsarjan Yatra after visiting the Somnath Temple in the morning. The Congress VP,  who is pipped to be the party president next month, created a controversy when images of his name and signature emerged in a non-Hindu visitor’s book kept at the temple. Congress, however, denounced the controversy, saying Gandhi signed in just one book while others were fabricated by BJP.

Also Read | Rahul Gandhi’s name figures in ‘non-Hindu’ list, Congress claims visitors’ book is ‘fake’

Patidar leader Hardik Patel also took to stage and addressed several gatherings in Morbi district discussing quota stir, farmer crisis, and other issues surrounding the people. Patel who is not contesting the assembly election due to under-age called out PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah saying they are ‘cowards’ and urged people to fight against them. Patel said, “BJP doesn’t care for us as they believe we won’t go anywhere. Congress is not coming forth as it lacks confidence after failing in 2002 and 2012 despite Keshubapa standing up. There are no cowards like Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. They draw their power only from police. So don’t be afraid of them, fight them.”

Hardik Patel during a meeting in Morbi. (Twitter/HardikPatel)

Rahul Gandhi countered PM Modi’s remarks over UPA’s poor governance and questioned the NDA over increasing unemployment in the country. In a harsh remark Gandhi speaking at Amreli alleged PM Modi of selling the state to industrialists, he said, “Modi has snatched and sold off Gujarat villages in the last two decades to industrialists.” Meanwhile, expressing confidence of winning the election, Gandhi promised farm loan waiver within 10 days of inception of his government in the state.

Gandhi went on to denounce the PM over demonetisation and said, “Modiji is better than Amitabh Bachchan as an actor. Modiji doesn’t need contact lense to weep. He is shallow, he will become emotional in coming days, he may not do it this time since I am saying all this.”

Both PM Modi and Congress VP Gandhi will remain in Gujarat on Thursday as well and will address series of public rallies. Gandhi is scheduled to speak in Botad and Bhavnagar districts of the state. With just a week left in the assembly polls, all parties have upped their campaigns, pitching their agendas to the public. The election in the state is set to be conducted in two phases on December 9, and December 14.