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'Vote bank politics has not benefited anyone'

india Updated: Jan 21, 2012 01:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

As part of his sadbhavna mission in Godhara, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi on Friday criticised the Congress allegedly for its vote bank politics even as the police detained social activists who were on a protest march.

Addressing a public meeting at the fast venue, Modi said he introduced "politics of development", something that had worked in Gujarat.

At the fast venue, a few maulavis from the minority community also observed fast with the chief minister while a few hundreds from the minority community were present.

"The vote bank has not benefited anyone and has only divided people into castes, communities and religions. That has resulted in lack of development in the country," he said, congratulating his government on the high growth rate in the state.

"If anyone has brought development on the centre stage of politics and in elections, it's the people of Gujarat, who have shown that development is the only way. Vote politics has affected the development of the country."

"I challenge the Congress to come to the battlefield if you have any concern for the farmers of this country," he said, stressing that Gujarat had registered double-digit growth in agriculture against the country's average of 3%.

"The central government has failed in improving agricultural growth," he said.

Emphasising that Gujarat has remained largely peaceful in the past 10 years, the period of his chief ministership, he said the state's progress was because of communal harmony and peace.

"There was a time when every child knew what curfew was. But now no one knows what curfew is or what a riot is. Now everyone knows what development is," he added.

On the other hand, several dozen people including leading social activist Shabnam Hashmi were detained by the police when they tried to hold a protest march ahead of the fast.