The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its manifesto for the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections, a day before polling for 89 assembly constituencies in the phase one take place. The voting for the second phase will be held on December 14 and the counting for the 182-seat assembly election will take place on December 18.
The Congress, which had released its manifesto for the election last Monday, had been targeting the Vijay Rupani-led government for not coming out its manifesto for poll-bound state. “The BJP has shown unbelievable disrespect towards the people of Gujarat. Campaign is over and STILL no mention of a manifesto for the people, no vision and no ideas presented for Gujarat’s future,” Gandhi had written on Twitter.
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8.30 pm: Addressing a rally at Anand, Rahul Gandhi stepped up attack on PM Modi and criticised the BJP for delaying the release of its manifesto for Gujarat. He said, “Our PM is talking about Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Jammu and Kashmir, I am a little surprised, elections are in Gujarat, today he spoke 60-70 per cent about him, remaining time he is talking about these countries, you are afraid you do not want to talk about last 22 years, we will talk about it. If not past then at least talk about Gujarat future. We have been meeting and talking to various sections of societies, sought their problems, it took us three months to prepare our manifesto and released it happily. I am surprised that election is tomorrow I tweeted that the BJP has not released it’s manifesto. Today Jaitleyji comes at 3 and says this is the manifesto. We did not get time to put BJP leaders pictures on this, will put it tomorrow. It was prepared in BJP’s office did they ask you.”
6.05 pm: Attacking Congress, Modi said, “Any party that is anti-development and prefers to divide society will never be accepted in Gujarat and that is why Congress won’t win. Gujarat has not forgotten the mis-governance of the Congress.”
6.02 pm: The population of our middle class is rising and so is the strength of our middle class. This section of society aspires to progress at a quick pace: PM Modi
6.00 pm: PM Modi is addressing a rally in Ahmedabad. “After travelling across Saurashtra, Kutch, South Gujarat and North Gujarat I am now in Ahmedabad. What I am seeing is extraordinary. It is clear that BJP will emerge victorious,” he said.
4.50 pm: Rahul also criticised PM Modi over a slew of other issues. “Modi ji now talks about Afghanistan, China, Pakistan. He will take you all around the world. But he will not talk about 22 years of BJP rule in Gujarat. He does not speak even a word about Jay Shah. He does not speak a word about Rafael jet deal. He does not talk about cotton prices farmers are getting.”
4.45 pm: Continuing his attack on PM Modi over the controversial Tata Nano project, Rahul said, “Nano factory has shut down. It manufactures only two nano in a day. Nobody wants to buy nano”.
“Modi ji took 45000 hectares of land from villagers in Mundra, Baroni, luni, siracha and Tunda villages in Kutch district and gave it to his friend Adani ji,” he adds.
4.30 pm: Meanwhile, PM Modi has started his speech in Himmatnagar. “Kem cho? have you forgotten me,” he says. The crowd responds “Modi Modi Modi.”
Highlighting his government’s initiatives, PM Modi said, “Which Congress Government in Gujarat worked towards bringing water to this district. It is the BJP which has got water and worked for the farmers. It is this NDA Government that saw the importance of LED Bulbs. The poor and middle class have gained most due to LED bulbs as it leads to savings.”
4.20 pm: While addressing a rally at Ranesar in Ahmedabad district, Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being arrogant. “Modiji says. Brothers and sisters. BJP will rule in Gujarat for 100 years. Modi ji has decided himself. See, his arrogance,” the Congress said. People respond to Rahul by shouting “feku”, “feku”.
“But Modi ji will know the truth in the next 15 days,” Rahul continues. “Modi ji took the entire land of farmers belonging to farmers and gave it to Tata’s for manufacturing of nano car. Modi ji promised to give job to the youths of these villages. He took your land, water, electricity and also Rs 333,000 crore of public money and gave it to Tata’s. But not a single youth of these villages has got a job in Nano factory.”
3.50 pm: Addressing a rally in Kalol, PM Modi attacked Congress leader Kapil Sibal over the long-standing Ayodhya case. “For the last two days a top Congress leader and an illustrious lawyer has been speaking. He is free to represent whoever he wants to, that is his prerogative. But, why does he want to prolong the Ayodhya Case when all stakeholders want an early solution,” Modi said.
“Instead of coming clear on why he wants the Ayodhya Matter to be discussed in court after 2019, this Congress leader is busy saying whose lawyer is he. He says he does not represent the Sunni Wakf Board but then he should say who is he representing,” he added.
3.31 pm: Targetting the Opposition, Jaitley claimed that the Congress’ vision for Gujarat is based on constitutional impossibility and financial improbability.
3.20 pm: While releasing the manifesto, Jaitley said Gujarat’s GSDP growth is highest in India and that the state grew at an average rate of 10 per cent amongst large states in the last five years.
3.10 pm: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has released BJP’s manifesto in poll-bound Gujarat.
2:31 pm: BJP will be releasing its manifesto at 3 pm today.
2:25 pm: Crowd gathered at Himmatnagar town in Sabarkantha district for PM Modi’s public meeting.
— satish jha. (@satishjha) December 8, 2017
2:05 pm: The leader was addressing the media in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
2:04 pm: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday taking a dig at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks on PM Modi says, “fun, pun and satire are part of politics but abuse is not part of politics.”
1.48 pm: PM ends his speech. Next stop: Kalol in Gandhinagar.
1.46 pm: “The yield of pomegranates, potatoes and vegetables has increased by four times since BJP government came into Gujarat. Now, I am Prime Minister. So, you have ladoos in both your hands. One in Gandhinagar and one in Delhi,” Modi said.
“Now, you can come to Delhi and call out to me and say, ‘Narendra bhai, wait, I have to talk to you’. Will you get such a Prime Minister? Will you get such a chance that for the next five years, Delhi will stand for your service. Press the ‘kamal’ button.”
1.44 pm: Mani Shankar Aiyar meanwhile said that if his remarks caused any damage to the party, he was “saddened by it.” “I had no such intention. I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me,” Aiyar was quoted as saying by ANI.
1.38 pm: Modi criticised Congress for questioning the 2016 surgical strikes. “Didn’t the surgical strikes carried out by India over Pakistan fill you with pride? Congress was the only entity that did not believe it and raised questions,” the PM said in Bhabhar. “Congress said Pakistan denied that surgical strike was carried out by India. So, do you want to believe India or Pakistan? They said, none of our soldiers got shot. They don’t like Indian soldiers coming back safe from war.”
1.36 pm: Modi accused Congress of backing Aiyar’s statement in Pakistan. “I was elected Prime Minister through the process of democracy. They go to Pakistan and talk about ‘Modi ko raste se hatao’. What have I done to them? It is their mentality,” he said.
1.34 pm: “Congress party hindustan ke PM ki kursi ka aadar karti hai. Aur congress party mein galat shabd prayog karke koi bhi PM ke baare mein nahi bol sakta. Modi ji humare baare mein kuch bhi keh sakte hain. Isliye humne Mani Shankar Aiyar par sakht karyawahi ki (Congress respects the PM’s chair and nobody in the party can use wrong words for the PM. Modi ji can say anything about us. This is why we took action against Mani Shankar Aiyar’s commments),” Rahul Gandhi in Chhota Udepur.
1.33 pm: Modi brings up suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s neech remark. “Is this abuse for me or for you? The Gujarati people will give him a reply,” he said. “This is the same man, who went to Pakistan and held a meeting there. He spoke of ‘removing Modi from the way’ to solve the India-Pakistan issue. Why did the Congress suppress this? What does ‘raste se hatao‘ mean?”
1.31 pm: Modi said neem-coated urea “cannot be used by chemical factories”. “It has stopped this black marketing of urea to chemical companies. Couldn’t the Congress have done this? They could have. But their nature is Atkana, Latkana, Bhatkana, as I said,” Modi told the crowd. “Don’t you think that by taking this step of introducing neem-coated urea I have ended business of black merchants? Don’t you think they will avenge it? Don’t you think they want to attack me for it? Who will protect me? I carry my ‘maut in my mutthi’,” the PM said.
1.29 pm: “I have seen the pain of farmers, who is waiting to marry off his daughter but delay in urea turns his crop unproductive. So, I have the mind to frame policies that are friendly to farmers and people. Under, UPA regime, black market of urea thrived,” Modi continued. “Do you want me to work for the betterment of farmers? You do, right? So, we have decided to coat urea with Neem oil. It has resulted in making urea more potent. If you needed 10 kg earlier, now 7 kg neem-coated will suffice. It will bring you profit.”
1.27 pm: Modi blames UPA government for delay in providing urea. Modi said, “When I was the CM and Manmohan Singh was PM under Sonia Gandhi, we kept telling them that I need sufficient urea for my farmers in time. I would keep asking but they would not reply. During the Congress rule, you farmers would have to queue up at nights to purchase urea. And if the merchants did not give you urea, you would have to purchase from the black market. Is it true or not?”
1.25 pm: “So, you have electricity and pumps running on electricity. Now, we will bring pumps that will run from the direct energy of the son, on solar power, and you will not pay a single rupee for electricity,” Modi said in Bhabhar. @IndianExpress
1.22 pm: Modi in Bhabhar: “I want to congratulate the BJP government in Gujarat and CM Vijay Rupani. It was his decision to disburse farm loans at 0% interest rate. Just imagine, the BJP government is paying the interest for the farmer’s loans. So, we need your blessings now.”
1.20 pm: Rahul Gandhi in Chhota Udepur: “Congress party within 10 days of winning the elections will make a policy for farmer loan waiver.” He also said that the Congress would win elections in Gujarat an no one would be able to stop it.
1.16 pm: “People want peace. Congress has three qualities in its nature -Atkana, Latkana and Bhatkana. Tell me, if the Congress was in power, would the Narmada water have reached you?” Modi said. “BJP has brought Narmada into the taps of your homes. It has brought Narmada to your fields to turn them green. It is because there was ‘Kamal’ here.”
1.12 pm: In Bhabhar, Modi asked people to “punish the Congress in such a way that they do not escape to resorts during times of need, punish them to improve them.”
1.10 pm: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is also addressing an election rally in Chhota Udepur. “BJP aapke liye kya karna chahti hai unhone woh aapko abhi tak nahi bayata hai, manifesto abhi tak tayar nahi kiya,” he said.
1.09 pm: Modi said when Gujarat received the warning of Cyclone Ockhi, CM Vijay Rupani rushed to be stationed in Surat; “When I was CM, I cleaned the streets of Surat during their time of need. I came to conduct an aerial survey in Banaskantha. Congress dumped people.”
1.07 pm: Modi recalled Indira Gandhi’s visit to Morbi in 1979, when a dam burst had caused a severe deluge. “A magazine carried pictures, it is not I saying this. Indira Gandhi walked with a handkerchief to cover her nose while RSS people helped pick the dead bodies,” he said.
1.06 pm: “Where were BJP leaders during the floods? Where were Vijay Rupani, Shankar Chaudhary and other candidates? They were walking with you in waist deep water; Congress leaders were diving into the swimming pool in Bangalore,” he said urging Banaskantha voters to “not forgive” Congress. “A person who does not share in your sorrow, even if he is born of your own mother cannot be forgiven. Will you forgive the Congress?” he asked the crowd.
1.05 pm: PM Modi criticised Congress on their reaction towards Banaskantha floods. “It will take just a minute to find the difference between BJP and the Congress. When floods came, where were Congress leaders? In Bangalore. Doing what? Having fun” he said to crowd. Accusing BJP of horse trading, Congress had flown around 40 MLAs to Bengaluru in July to avoid resignations and defections ahead of the crucial Rajya Sabha polls.
12.55 pm: The PM asks people perched on trees to get down. “You have seen me now, step down. If something happens, it will be accounted on me. I do not want trouble,” he said.
1.00 pm: PM Modi begins his public address in Bhabhar, introduces candidates from Assembly constituencies – Parbhat Patel (Tharad), Shankar Chaudhary (Vav), Keshaji Chauhan (Deodhar), Kirtisinh Vaghela (Kankrej), and Lavingji Thakor (Radhanpur).
12.50 pm: BJP’s Shankar Chaudhary, Gujarat MoS for Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Environment and Urban Development, had won the Vav Assembly Constituency in 2012 polls by 11, 911 votes, defeating INC’s Geni Thakor. Shankar Chaudhary and Geni Thakor take each other on once again.
12.43 pm: Bhabhar falls under the Vav Assembly Constituency which votes on December 14. BJP won Vav in 2012 and 2007.
12.38 pm: PM Narendra Modi’s chopper arrives in Bhabhar.
12.36 pm: “You are lucky, you have the chance to show the ‘outsiders’ their place in Gujarat; ask them to account for every thing they have done,” said Rupani.
12.34 pm: CM Rupani said people of Gujarat “have not forgotten the communal tensions during Congress rule when Jagannath Yatra and Muharram Tazia processions could not be taken out in peace.” He added: “Since the 2002 riots, Gujarat has witnessed peace. The Jagannath Yatra and Muharram Tazia processions can be taken out in peace.”
12.32 pm: Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani in Bhabhar accuses Congress of mocking the poor, Dalits, by calling Prime Minister Modi “neech”. Rupani is referring to the comments of Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was suspended by the Congress on Thursday.
12.30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will shortly address a public meeting in Bhabhar in Banaskantha.
12.25 pm: Gujarat BJP to declare its election manifesto for Gujarat assembly elections today in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
12:09 pm: Speaking in Ahmedabad, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav criticised the ruling party saying, “People in BJP can even go on to say that aircrafts were faulty which is why they could land at the Expressway (Yamuna Expressway) otherwise the Expressway is not upto the mark.” He was referring to Indian Airforce aircrafts carrying out a two-hour emergency landing drill on the Expressway near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh on October 24 this year.
11.21 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be addressing rallies in Bhabhar, Kalol, Himmatnagar and Nikol.
10.40 am: BJP President Amit Shah is also slated to hold multiple election rallies in Banaskantha, Panchmahal, Kheda and Ahmedabad districts.
10.35 am: Gandhi on Friday also posed his 10th question to the Prime Minister in his ‘a question a day’ series on Twitter. The Congress V-P questioned the government on the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana which was designed for the development of tribal people. “Palayan ne dia aadiva samaaj ko tod. Modi ji kahan gaye vanbandhu yojana ke 55,000 crore? (Displacement of the adivasis broke their community. Mr Modi, where are the Rs 55,000 crore allotted for VKJ scheme?)” he wrote on Twitter. Gandhi also raised questions on the land rights and employment opportunities for the tribal youth. In his campaign rallies, PM Modi has spoken of the tribal community, listing the work done for them by the state government.
10.30 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is schedule to address rallies in Chhota Udepur, Ahmedabad, Anand and Kheda.
Schedule for Rahul Gandhi’s meetings on Saturday
12.00 pm: Public Meeting at APMC Ground, Pavi Jetpur, District: Chhota Udaipur
2.15 pm: Visit to Mogal Dham Mandir, Ranesar, District: Ahmedabad
2.30 pm: Public Meeting at Ground Opposite of Super Gas, Ranesar, District: Ahmedabad
4.00 pm: Corner Meeting at Ground Opposite of Ila Park, Tarapur, Khambhat – Tarapur Road, District: Anand
5.15 pm: Corner Meeting, Ground Near Rice Mill, Limbasi, District: Kheda
6.15 pm: Swagat at Magrol, District: Anand
6.30 pm: Swagat at Sojitra Chokadi, District: Anand
7.00 pm: Public Meeting at Vyayamshala Ground, Loteshwar Bhagol, District: Anand
The 89 Assembly constituencies that are gearing up to vote for the next Gujarat government on Saturday lie in the following districts: Kachchh, Surendranagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Navsari and Valsad.