Gujarat polls LIVE UPDATES: To equal UPA’s 10-yr average, economy will have to grow at 10.6%, says Manmohan Singh

The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases -- on December 9 and 14 -- and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 7, 2017 4:50:46 pm
Congress party has a vision for transformation of Gujarat, says Manmohan Singh Dr. Manmohan Singh addressing media in Rajkot on Thursday.

Former prime minister and senior Congress leader Dr. Mammohan Singh on Thursday said that Congress party has a vision for the transformation of Gujarat and they will govern with both “head and heart” when they come to power in the state.

Addressing the media in Rajkot on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of election scheduled to take place on December 9, Singh said, “BJP governments of Gujarat have let the quality of public education decline, and this has led to rampant privatisation of education.”

“A Congress government will change this. We will invest in the people of Gujarat by increasing the budget for healthcare and education. Congress party has a vision for the transformation of Gujarat. We promise we will govern with both head and heart,” he added.

A total of 89 seats — out of 182 — spanning the Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, are up for grabs in the first phase with 977 candidates in the fray in the first phase of polling.

Gujarat elections LIVE UPDATES:

4.46 pm: “Mani Shankar Aiyar has called Modi ‘neech’ but we are proud of our Prime Minister. He has answered (Mani Shankar Aiyar) very politely and sensibly. Aiyar’s mindset is a ‘darbaari’ one,” says Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

4.30 pm: “Nothing can stop me from giving back to the poor what belongs to them,” PM

4.25 pm: “Yes, they called me ‘neech’ but our value systems are strong. We have nothing to say to such elements. Our answer will come through the ballot box. We have seen enough insults from them. They insulted me when I was CM. They called me ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’ and wanted to jail me,” says PM

4.24 pm: “I beg to the people of India – please let them be. Let them keep calling me ‘neech’, we will not respond. In our hearts we do not have this mindset and want to congratulate them for theirs. If anything, we will answer them for their mindset by our votes on 9th and 14th,” says Modi

4.23 pm: “They can call me ‘neech’. Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, Tribals and OBC communities. They can keep their language we will do our work,” says PM

4.22 pm: “You all have seen me – I have been CM and PM. Has anyone had to hold his or her head in shame due to me. Have I done any shameful thing. Then why are they calling me ‘neech’,” says Modi

4.20 pm: “This Mughlai mindset sees everyone but prices as ‘neech’. What all have they called us – donkeys, Neech, Gandi Naali Ke Keede…the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language,” says PM

4.18 pm: Retorting to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s jibe, PM said, “Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a Minister in Cabinet, he said Modi is ‘Neech.’ This is insulting. This is nothing but a Mughlai mindset.”

4.07 pm: “Our government has made friendly policies for the textile sector and diamond industry that is big in Surat,” says PM

Modi Surat rally A huge crowd gathered in Surat for PM Modi’s rally despite warnings of heavy rain. (Source: ANI)

4.05 pm: “We have provided relief to those who want to buy/ make their own homes. Why should every Indian not own a home,” asks PM

4.02 pm: “People did not get continuous electricity. When the BJP got to serve Gujarat we ensured continuous power. The demand for Surat was long pending and it is the BJP that has worked on this,” says Modi

4.00 pm: “See the Surat before Kashiram Bhai Rana became the Mayor of this city. And since Kashiram Bhai, and during the BJP Governments in Gujarat see the transformation of Surat,” says PM

3.56 pm: “My Maliks are the 125 crore people of India. I am accountable to them for every moment of my time because they have placed their faith in me,” says PM

3.55 pm: Taking a dig at Congress, Modi said, “Our agenda is development. Some are asking me, Modi Ji what did you do. Sadly for them, the people are asking them- how did you rule the nation for over fifty years.”

3.50 pm: “We had cancelled this rally due to the cyclone conditions but the people of Surat said you have to come today so, as campaign ends I am here among the people of Surat,” says PM

2.48 pm: There were reports that Shailesh Sotta, the BJP candidate from Dabhoi, had said in a speech that he was here to establish fear among Muslims. Clarifying the matter, Sotta said his speech was directed at anti-social elements in the society. “I did not say anything against any community, my speech was against anti-social elements in society. Infact more than 100 Muslim youth will join me in my rally in the evening today, so no one is opposing me,” ANI quoted Sotta as saying.

2.19 pm: Reacting to the poster, Ahmed Patel said it was a misinformation campaign by the BJP. “This is a misinformation campaign by the BJP as now they know they are going to lose. I was never the CM candidate and neither will I ever be,” ANI quoted Patel as saying.

2.16 pm: Meanwhile, a poster was seen in Surat calling for Muslims to unite and support Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel to be made ‘Wazir e Alam’ of Gujarat.

Gujarat poster of Ahmed Patel A poster in Surat calling for Ahmed Patel to be made Congress’ chief ministerial candidate. (Source: ANI)

1:25 pm: “Modiji says he took up Narmada issue with me but I don’t remember him talking to me about this issue, though whenever he wanted to meet me I never refused. I was always ready as being PM it was my responsibility to meet all chief ministers,” ANI quoted Dr. Manmohan Singh as saying.

1: 20 pm: “Whoever faced corruption allegations during UPA was dealt with strictly, but the same cannot be said about BJP, they have not acted on corruption in their rule,” says Dr. Singh.

1: 15 pm: “BJP governments of Gujarat have let the quality of public education decline, and this has led to rampant privatisation of education. A Congress government will change this. We will invest in the people of Gujarat by increasing the budget for healthcare and education. Congress party has a vision for the transformation of Gujarat. We promise we will govern with both head and heart,” said the former prime minister.

1: 08 pm:  “Pressure from traders in Rajkot, Surat and Congress has led to some recent changes in GST rates. I still fail to understand how a 28 per cent GST on auto parts will help the economy in the industrial hub of Saurashtra,” says former prime minister.

1:05 pm: “Happy to note uptick in growth rate in July-September quarter to 6.3 per cent. But it is too early to conclude that it represents a reversal of the declining trend observed in the previous five quarters,” says Manmohan Singh.

12:55 pm: Former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh addresses media in Surat, says, “To equal the UPA’s ten year average, the economy will have to grow at 10.6 per cent in the fifth year, I would be happy if it were to happen but I frankly do not think it will.”

11: 45 am: Election Commission tells Gujarat High Court on appointing full time DGP, “Post had been lying vacant for quite sometime. The state should have taken decision much in advance.”

The High Court had yesterday issued a notice to Election Commission on a plea moved by Congress candidate from Gondal Arjun Khatariya who claims he can’t find polling agents due to fear of BJP leader Jayrajsinh Jadeja whose wife is contesting from BJP.

9: 45 am: “At 10 AM today, will interact with SC, ST Morcha Karyakartas and Karyakartas belonging to coastal areas of Gujarat. At 11 AM will inaugurate the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre and will then go to Surat, where I will address a rally,” tweets PM Modi.

8: 45 am: 

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