Narendra Modi carried his Hindutva agenda into central and north Gujarat on Monday, the two regions that will vote in the second phase on December 16.
Addressing a rally in the tribal heartland of Danta — a Congress stronghold in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat — he returned to his familiar theme, demanding that voters punish the Congress for calling Gujaratis “terrorists”.
He was referring to Digvijay Singh’s statement made some days earlier that “Hindu terrorism” existed in Gujarat, a remark that has since drawn the attention of the Election Commission as well.
Practically jettisoning the development plank he had been harping upon earlier, Modi also brought up the Sethusamudram controversy once again.
“The Congress questioned Lord Ram’s existence in an affidavit submitted in court. Now it’s up to the court to decide if Lord Ram was born or not, and if the Ram Setu was really built,” he told a modest gathering.
“The tone of the Congress’s campaign has been anti-Gujarat,” he said. “Let me tell you, Soniaben is anti-Gujarat and anti-poor. Her party will never do anything for you.”
He was equally scathing about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “He has no right to blame me for what his own partymen did or failed to do when they were in power. He doesn’t acknowledge my government’s efforts to correct Congress governments’ past mistakes, be it in education or infrastructure development.”
Modi ended with some advice. “Please don’t think I will become CM if you set out on a padayatra to Ambaji temple. I will not come to power if you recite my name 108 times a day. It will only happen if you come out of your homes to cast your votes for the BJP.”