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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Onions, Modi on plate as BJP starts Delhi campaign

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 18, 2013
First Published: 01:34 IST(18/9/2013) | Last Updated: 12:12 IST(18/9/2013)

Rising onion prices, PM candidate Narendra Modi's magic and the Aam Aadmi Party were the main talking points as the BJP launched its campaign on Tuesday at Talkatora stadium in New Delhi.

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Spiking onion prices, which had proved to be BJP's nemesis in 1998 assembly polls, was the focus with BJP leaders claiming that it will prove to be Congress' downfall too.

"They say Congress ka haath, ghareebo ke saath (Congress is with the poor) but prices are up and inflation is worse than in Bangladesh or Pakistan," said Delhi poll in-charge Nitin Gadkari, who  termed the polls as the semi-final to the final match (general polls).

The BJP also dismissed and attacked the Aam Aadmi Party as an agent of the Congress. "There is no third party," said BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu.

BJP's national head Rajnath Singh said Gujarat's model of development would be replicated across India and Delhi. "He is the face of development," added BJP Delhi head Vijay Goel.

The campaign speeches were a mix of local and national issues including safety of women, the economic condition, price rise and condition of farmers.

"In 1998 when onion prices touched Rs. 60 the Congress had created a hue and cry, now that there has been a 240% increase in prices the same Congress says it is quite normal. They don't have the moral right to ask for vote," said Naidu.

On the AAP Naidu said: "Delhi is the capital of the country and we need to be ready. The battle is only between the Congress and the BJP. If people give AAP their vote they will only be helping the Congress. The only alternative is BJP."

Goel agreed with the assessment, "They have merely come for vote division and nothing else. They are being funded by the Congress."

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