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Gujarat elections: snippets

india Updated: Nov 28, 2007 01:53 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ahmedabad's bumpy rides? Blame it on EC!


Come poll time with its model code of conduct, all administrative delays can be blamed on the Election Commission.


Ahmedabad roads are dreadful? Too bad. No repair works can be taken up while the code is in force, municipal authorities has been telling citizens, or else it would seem that the ruling party is using unfair means to woo voters.


But why weren't the roads repaired earlier? The job can only be done after the monsoon ends, the corporation points out.



But this year, it kept raining till end September. Just as the corporation was getting its act together to start repairs, the poll schedule was announced.



I have the stomach, announces Modi


The spin doctors who conceived the BJP's poll campaign seem to be fixated on eating and digestion.



One of the party's most frequently seen ads features a line attributed to chief minister Narendra Modi: "

Hun khato nathi, oney koiney khawa detho nathi"

which literally translated means: "I neither eat, nor allow others to". Of course, what the line really means is that he neither engages in corruption, nor does he allow others to be corrupt.



There are more. In a reference to his detractors comments, Modi in posters proudly claims: "

Gamney tero jaher pachavvani mar ma takat chhey

(I have the strength to digest even poison and survive)."



When it comes to serving the masses, once again he has poison on his mind. "

Jeher pachavvana sankalp thi aapni seva ma aavu chhu"

(I'm ready to digest poison if needed to serve you.)



A strong stomach indeed!



A national leader in letter and spirit?


Narendra Modi's national ambitions are no secret. What is surprising is that they should be flaunted on BJP press releases.



The BJP released a list of campaigners for the polls on Monday, with separate columns for 'national leaders' and 'state leaders'. Modi's name figured in the first column, along with the likes of Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj — not in the second.



BJP sources hastily explained that it was just a "typing error". A Freudian slip more likely?



Looking at Gujarat, seeking America


Contesting and winning elections is fine, but Gujarat politicians know there are bigger prizes that have nothing to do with politics. A Congressman at the Ahmedabad party office was being congratulated by one and all the day the first partial list of Congress nominees was declared.



Which constituency had he bagged the ticket for? "No party ticket," declared a hanger-on. "He has got the biggest ticket."



Eh? An extended US visa!



BJP wooing Muslims, annoying Modi?



Despite Modi's reputation among Muslims, some BJP activists have not given up hope of drawing votes from the community.



Recently, the minority cell of the Surat unit called a meeting in a Muslim locality where, apart from the usual speeches, free scarves were distributed. There was a picture on the scarf: but it was not Modi's. It was that of former union minister Kashiram Rana's, who has been sidelined by Modi and has no love lost for the latter. It may disarm Muslims, but how will Modi take it?