Continuing with the high-octane campaigning for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed a number of rallies in the state on Sunday, 10 December.
Notably, Gandhi held a public meeting in support of Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani at Vadgam on Saturday, 9 December. Mevani, who had earlier announced his support for the Congress, is contesting the elections from the Vadgam constituency as an Independent candidate.
The first phase of polling took place on 9 December, recording a voter turnout of around 66.75 percent.
- PM Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed a slew of rallies for the second phase of Gujarat elections
- Rahul Gandhi started his campaign on Sunday with a darshan at a temple in Dakor, followed by a public meeting. He then addressed rallies in Aravali, Deodar and Kalol
- At a rally in Palanpur, Modi once again slammed Mani Shankar Aiyar, asking why he had held “secret meetings with the Pakistani High Commissioner”
- Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi urged the people in one of his rallies to talk about the PM with love, but also make him go away
- The second phase of polling will take place on 14 December and the results will be declared on 18 December
"My Govt is For the Poor": PM Modi
Dismissing the allegations made by the Congress that the BJP government in Gujarat was for the “rich”, PM Narendra Modi on 10 December said:
My government is for the poor. I can’t understand the lies Congress keeps saying. When we build a state of the art bus terminus for Vadodara, do we do it because Mukesh Ambani, Tata or Birla uses it? No we make this to serve the poor.
Modi to Hold Road Show in Ahmedabad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a road show in Ahmedabad on 12 December, two days before the second phase of polling in Gujarat.
We Will Defeat Modiji Without Any Anger, But With Love: Rahul Gandhi in Kalol
At a rally in Gujarat’s Kalol, Rahul Gandhi said:
Modiji keeps using bad words against me in his speeches. Even today, he did so. I respect the post of the PM. No matter what the PM says about me, I won’t utter even a single bad word about him. Modiji, we will defeat you in Gujarat without any anger, but with love.Rahul Gandhi
Addressing the crowd, Gandhi said:
I won’t forget the love you have shown till I am alive. Whenever you need me, just call me... You have forged a relationship with me. This is a relationship for life, it won’t break.Rahul Gandhi
Congress is Relying on Their Same Divide and Rule Politics: PM Modi in Kalol
Addressing a rally in Kalol, Gandhinagar, Modi asserted that the “BJP is fighting these assembly elections on the issue of development”.
Congress is back to their old tricks. A generational shift has not brought in a new political culture for the party. They rely on their same divide and rule politics.PM Modi
He also talked about how the BJP ensured the electrification of villages in Gujarat, despite the state Congress leaders mocking his promise regarding the same.
Watch: Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala Addresses a Press Conference
Amit Shah Lashes Out at Jignesh Mevani and Salman Nizami
In his press conference in Gandhinagar, Amit Shah went on to target the Congress for its support of Jignesh Mevani, saying Rahul Gandhi is meeting a person who has relations with an anti-national outfit.
Jignesh Mevani’s pictures of accepting money from Popular Front of India (PFI) have gone viral. PFI has always indulged in anti-national activities. Rahul Gandhi is meeting such a person who has relations with an anti-national outfit, and the Congress has given up its seat for him for vote bank consolidation.Amit Shah
He further alleged that the Congress did not give Mevani a ticket and made him contest as an independent because they knew of his relations with PFI.
Moreover, a day after Modi lashed out at the mysterious Salman Nizami, who is purportedly a member of the Congress, Amit Shah also brought him up in his address.
Salman Nizami, who has vowed for Kashmir’s ‘freedom’, is being launched for campaigning in Gujarat and this is being (done) for the consolidation of vote bank. People of Gujarat can see through the cunning ways of Congress.Amit Shah
Watch: BJP President Amit Shah Addresses a Press Conference in Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar, BJP president Amit Shah lashed out at the Congress, saying that the party “has laid the foundation of Gujarat elections on casteism”.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi, he said:
The would-be President of Congress started hopping from temple to temple. Congress has been the creator of polarisation in India.BJP president Amit Shah
He went to assert that Modi has a “spotless” image, while talking about the 2002 riots.
Congress’ Charan Singh said PM Modi must go inside Jama Masjid and apologise for the 2002 riots. The entire nation knows the allegations levelled on Modiji by a Congress-backed NGO were false. He is spotless. Yet for vote bank consolidation, 2002 is being raised in 2017.Amit Shah
Watch: Rahul Gandhi Addresses a Rally in Aravali, Gujarat
Watch: PM Modi Addresses a Rally in Sanand, Gujarat
Talk About the PM With Love and Make Him Run Away: Rahul Gandhi in Dakor
In Gujarat’s Dakor, Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Modi’s speeches in the state, saying that he only spoke about himself 90 percent of the time.
Making a remark after the Mani Shankar Aiyar ‘neech’ controversy, Gandhi said:
Don’t use offensive language against the PM. You belong to the Congress, so talk (about him) with love, use sweet words, and make him run away.Rahul Gandhi
The Congress vice president also slammed the demonetisation move of the government, asserting how “the money of all thieves in India was turned white by Modiji”.
Why Did Mani Shankar Aiyar Hold Secret Meetings With Pakistani High Commissioner?: Modi
Speaking at a rally in Banaskantha’s Palanpur, Modi said:
The entire nation is seeing the wonders of Banaskantha in agriculture, particularly in potato cultivation.PM Modi
The PM once again slammed suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, asserting that he had “insulted Gujarat”, and asking why he had held “secret meetings with the Pakistani High Commissioner”.
He further questioned:
Claiming that the ex-Pakistan Army Directorate General (DG) had said that Ahmed Patel should be made Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi questioned:
Why is Pakistan interfering in Gujarat polls? Why are people who previously held high posts in the military-intelligence establishment of Pakistan writing that we should help make Ahmed Patel the Chief Minister?PM Modi
Rahul Gandhi Visits Ranchhodji Temple in Gujarat
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi kicked off his poll campaign on Sunday, 10 December in Gujarat's Dakor by seeking blessings at the Ranchhodji Temple.
The crowd apparently shouted ‘Modi Modi’ as Rahul Gandhi exited the temple.
A Busy Campaign Day for Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat
Rahul Gandhi is gearing up for an intense day of campaigning starting from a darshan at Shri Rannchodrai temple in Dakor in Kheda followed by a public meeting.
He will then move on to Shamlaji in Aravali where he will again address a public meeting at a Sarvodaya Ashram. He will also address a public meeting in Deodar in Banaskantha district and Kalol.
PM Modi to Speak at a Rally in Palanpur in Gujarat
Watch: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi addresses a rally in Vijapur, Gujarat
The PM Has Only Spoken About Himself in His Speeches: Rahul Gandhi in Modi's Hometown Vadnagar
At a rally in Modi’s hometown Vadnagar, Rahul Gandhi slammed Narendra Modi’s speeches in Gujarat, saying:
Narendra Modi has spoken about himself 90 percent of the time during his speeches. Nothing else was left. But this election is not about Modiji or me. It is about Gujarat’s future.
Watch: PM Modi Addresses a Rally in Mehsana, Gujarat
Speaking at Mehsana, Modi underlined the importance of development, saying that without it, “there is no solution to the problems India faces”.
Supporters Wear Masks of Jignesh Mevani at His Rally in Vadgam
Rahul Gandhi is set to address a rally in support of Jignesh Mevani at Vadgam, the constituency from where the latter is contesting as an Independent candidate.
Watch: PM Modi Addresses a Rally in Anand, Gujarat
Watch: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Addresses a Rally in Patan, Gujarat
Addressing a gathering in Patan's Harij, Rahul Gandhi countered Modi's rhetoric, saying how the BJP government has only worked for the benefit of 5-10 industrialists/businessmen.
They (the BJP) have everything - the central government, UP government, Maharashtra government, IB... Everything... The Congress party has nothing but the truth of Gujarat.Rahul Gandhi
Watch: PM Modi Addresses a Rally in Bodeli, Gujarat
Addressing a rally in Gujarat's Bodeli, Modi said:
Congress leaders are unable to understand and identify with the aspirations of the tribal communities and the farmers.PM Modi
BJP Will Score a Landslide Victory, Congress' Tactics Have Failed': Jaitley
On the day of the first phase of polling, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed confidence that the BJP will score a decisive victory in Gujarat.
This will be a landslide victory for the BJP and the win will be resounding. Congress’ campaign tactics have failed.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Congress Leaders Slam Modi's Speech in Gujarat
Reacting to Modi's speech in Gujarat, in which he accused a youth Congress leader named Salman Nizami of using offensive language against him, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said:
We don’t know who Salman Nizami is. He does not hold any position in the party. We can also say that there is some random person called Ram Lal in the BJP who said something.Congress leader Rajiv Shukla
Congress Has Been Rejected Comprehensively Across the Nation, Gujarat Will Punish it Too: Modi
Addressing a rally in Lunawada, Gujarat, PM Narendra Modi slammed the Congress, saying it has been "rejected comprehensively across the nation".
"Gujarat too will reject and punish them for their politics," he asserted.
He once again accused the Congress leaders of using offensive language against him, narrating a youth Congress leader named Salman Nizami has used unacceptable language against him.
He (Nizami) wrote on Twitter about Rahul ji’s father and grandmother. That is okay, but he asks - ‘Modi tell me who is your mother, who is your father?’ Such language can’t even be used for your enemies... He calls for Azad Kashmir, he calls our army (personnel) rapists. How can the people accept someone like Salman Nizami? He also says there will be an Afzal (Guru) from every home.PM Modi
Modi also alleged that the "Congress has misled the Muslim community", having made "fake promises of reservation for the Muslims".
I want to tell all Congress leaders who are abusing me, mocking my poor family, asking who my parents are - this nation is my everything. Every moment of my time is devoted to India and the 125 crore Indians.PM Modi
Modi's Rally Schedule
On Saturday, 9 December, Narendra Modi will visit Lunawada and address a public meeting in the morning. After that, he will go to Bodeli. He will visit the milk capital, Anand, and address a gathering at noon. His last public meeting of the day will be at Mehsana, the Patidar bastion, at 3 pm.
Rahul Gandhi's Rally Schedule
On Saturday, Gandhi will be in Patan, Banaskantha and Mehsana districts, the region said to be the Patidar bastion.
He will arrive in Patan district's Chanasma by chopper from Vadodara and hold a public a meeting at Harij around noon. He will reach Banaskantha district's Vadgam and address a public meeting in Chappi in the afternoon.
Mevani is contesting as an independent from Vadgam constituency.
From Vadgam, Gandhi will fly to Vadnagar, the home town of Modi, and address a public meeting around 4 pm. The place falls in the Unjha Assembly seat of Mehsana district. From Modi's hometown, Gandhi will take a yatra bus to Vijapur – the region believed to be a Patidar fortress – where he will address a public meeting at 6 pm.
The Mehsana Assembly constituency seat is held by Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel.
(With inputs from IANS)