Presenting himself as “Gujarat’s man in Delhi”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he had come to his home state to ask, with a sense of entitlement to people of the state to help BJP win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state one more time.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, riding on the Modi wave, had swept the state, losing not a single seat to the Opposition Congress. Campaigning for the party in Amreli in Saurashtra region, where the party performed poorly in the Assembly elections held one-and-a-half years ago, Modi credited the people of Gujarat for his successful political career and said that he always maintained a strong bond with the people of his state even after moving to Delhi. He claimed of know at least 200 people from Amreli by name while 50 others from the town can address him by his first name.
He said that before he was elected PM in 2014, people from Gujarat would slow down their car to catch a glimpse of PM’s residence in Delhi. “Today, people (visiting Delhi) ring me up, saying Narendrabhai, I have come to Delhi and want to have a cup of tea. What would Narendrabhai tell him? He would welcome you, ‘Oh, what a surprise! I am honoured to host you.’ Now tell me, when one gets to be in such a situation? Will such an opportunity ever come again?” Modi asked the crowd.
The PM in an emotional appeal then said that due to “such a strong bond with the people of Gujarat” and he himself being from Gujarat, he had the “right to ask the voters” to help his party win all the 26 Lok Sabh seats in the state. “Bhaio-baheno, aa natanu mahatva chhe. Aa sambhandho nu mahatva chhe. Ane etla mate, Gujarat na santan tarike jyare tamaro jan tyan betho chhe tyare hun em kahu, hun je chhu a tamara karne chhu, mane tame j taiyar karyo chhe, mane ghadyo tame chhe, tamara ashirvad na karne hun chhu. Ane jyare aje hun em kahu ke bhai, game tem thay 26 mathi 26 kamal tamari pase magva avyo chhu, mane magvano hakk chhe ken ahi? Mane tamari pase magvano hakk chhe ken nahi? Tamari pase agrah karine magvano hakk chhe ken ahi? Hakk thi magvano hakk chhe ke nahi? Ane etla j mate aje, bhale hun ubho Amreli ma chhu pan akha Gujarat mathi ashirwad magva mate avyo chhu. (This relation, bond is very important. When I am there as son of Gujarat, as your man there (in Delhi), I acknowledge that whatever I am is because of you. You have trained and moulded me. And if today I request you all, come what may, please give all 26 seats to lotus (the election symbol of BJP), do I have right to make such a request or not? Do I have right to make such a demand rightfully or not?
Today, I might be standing in Amreli, but I have come to seek blessings from entire Gujarat),” Modi said.
In the last Assembly elections, held in December 2017, the BJP had lost all the five Assembly segments — Amreli, Lathi, Dhari, Savarkunda and Rajula — of the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency. This time, the Congress has fielded Leader of opposition in the Assembly Paresh Dhanani from here against the sitting BJP MP Naran Kachhadiya.
Recalling his 13 years as chief minister of Gujarat, Modi said that people’s support, especially from Gujarat, helped him take, what he termed, “tough” decisions. “Whatever I have done in the last five years, taking toughest decisions and at the same time taking care of the poorest. I have taken the biggest powers of the world head on. I remember, during Doklam, the armies of India and China were face-to-face for 70-75 days. During that time, I used to receive phone calls from entire country. People were expressing concern and used to tell me to be careful. But phone calls from Gujarat ring: Saheb, khel-kheladi ne ghoda ashwarna (game belongs to players and horses to those who ride them),” said Modi.
“However big the Delhi world may be, I was meeting big leaders of the world. There is discussion about India in entire world. But I would become conscious every now and then, and realise that I could do all that because Gujarat had taught me. Gujarat had moulded me, nourished me. I used to say, five to six crore Gujaratis had observed my work and life closely, and forced the entire country to think that if the man who has taken care of Gujarat for so any years is given the charge of the nation, he would bring prosperity just like Gujarat. Your love and trust has been helpful to me all the time in the last five years,” said Modi.
‘PM sent money to your accounts, now give him return gift’
Amreli: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had offered them a gift by directly transferring funds into bank accounts of village panchayats, and said that it was their turn to give Modi a return gift on April 23, the voting.
“Today, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put in place a system which ensures that the rupee sent from Delhi is deposited into account of panchayat intact. Friends, our government has created such a system. I want to alert every sarpanch that Modi has given his gift. It is your turn to give the return gift on 23rd. I request you to give a better return gift so that relationship progresses,” the BJP leader said at the party’s rally in Amreli. Rupala claimed that despite Modi being the PM, his mother Hiraba lives in a home built by Housing Board. (ENS)