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PM Modi leads 50-km roadshow through 13 constituencies

"There is a competition among Congress leaders as to who will use the most abusive and most toxic slurs for Modi"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election campaign for the Gujarat Assembly elections, in Ahmedabad, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his 50-km roadshow called “Pushpanjali Yatra”, offering floral tributes at statues of leaders such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay and Subhash Chandra Bose, in Ahmedabad on Thursday from Naroda Gam as hundreds of BJP workers and local residents gathered on roadsides to catch a glimpse of the PM.

The roadshow passed through 35 areas of the city amid “Modi” chants, covering 13 constituencies in Ahmedabad city and one in Gandhinagar district.

PM Modi’s cavalcade in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (Express Photo)

A senior party worker recalled Modi’s roadshow in 2005 in Ahmedabad city during the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections. “This time, the pushpanjali (floral tribute) at statues might be the new element in the roadshow and the fact that he is doing it as prime minister,” said the party leader.

“The route must have been chosen by the party organisation to create an atmosphere in favour of the BJP in these areas… Be it weaker seats like Jamalpur-Khadia and Danilimda or party bastions like Ghatlodia and Naranpura,” the leader added.

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The event was planned without advance notice and the administration was informed only on Wednesday to make security arrangements along the PM’s route. A senior BJP leader said, “This is neither new nor the first. Narendrabhai also did a roadshow in Surat city.”

On November 27, three days before Surat and south Gujarat went to poll in the first phase, Modi did an 18-kilometre roadshow through the Patidar-dominated areas of Abhrama in Surat and addressed a rally in Varachha.

BJP’s Naroda constituency candidate Payal Kukrani, incumbent MLA Balram Thawani and former MLA Maya Kodnani were stationed at the Naroda Patiya Circle, from where the PM and his cavalcade passed by without any stop.

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According to Thawani, Modi made an appearance in BJP stronghold Naroda constituency, which goes to poll on December 5, for the first time for election campaigning since 2005.

Kanchanben Girdhari, a resident of Charan Vas, who waited for hours for the PM and was resting on a road divider, said, “A Sindhi candidate called Kukrani is contesting but anyway we vote for the BJP. We have come here only to see Modiji.”

Towering over BJP candidate Payal Kukrani’s popularity was former MLA Maya Kodnani, an accused in the Naroda Gam riot case and the Naroda Patiya riot cases from which she was acquitted. Kodnani was seen greeting party workers and local residents, with some touching her feet, and after Modi’s visit, several families also lined up for photos with her.

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Modi and his cavalcade passed by the Sindhi-dominated locality, without much of a glance at the stage where Kukrani, Thawani and Kodnani were seated.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 22:41 IST
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