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Gujarat elections 2017 Live: Campaigning ends with Modi’s seaplane ride focus of exchanges

On the last day of campaigning for the Gujarat elections, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for neglecting the issues of the state. Here are the latest updates

GujaratElection2017 Updated: Dec 12, 2017 18:39 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his supporters before boarding a sea-plane on the Sabarmati river on the last day of campaigning ahead of the second phase of Gujarat assembly elections in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets his supporters before boarding a sea-plane on the Sabarmati river on the last day of campaigning ahead of the second phase of Gujarat assembly elections in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday following his seaplane flight from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad on the last day of campaigning for the second phase of the Gujarat election.

Modi landed at Dharoi dam in Mehsana district, some 150 km from Ahmedabad. He offered prayers at the Ambaji temple in Ambaji town.

Gandhi addressed a press conference in Ahmedabad — his first after getting elected president of the Congress, where he said Modi has forgotten the real issues of Gujarat.

Here are the live updates:

5.45pm: The second and final phase of elections, for which the open campaigning ended at 5pm, will see voting in 93 assembly seats spread across 14 districts in north and central Gujarat . A total of 851 candidates are in the fray for the second phase, where 2.22 crore people are eligible to vote.

5.03pm: “The lies that our worthy opponents have spread, about Gujarat, Gujarat’s growth and about me personally is something I had never imagined. It is natural for every Gujarati to feel hurt. People of Gujarat will give a fitting reply to the negativity and lies of the opposition,” the Prime Minister tweets.

5.01pm: “I urge my sisters and brothers of Gujarat to vote in record numbers on the 14th,” Modi tweets. He also calls upon the people of Gujarat to not only give the BJP an overwhelming majority but also ensure that BJP wins in every polling booth across the state.

5pm: As campaigning for Gujarat assembly elections ends, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says: “After three and a half years, I got the honour to travel across the length and breadth of Gujarat to seek the blessings of the people.”

4.32pm: PM Narendra Modi: “Earlier today, I travelled on a sea plane from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati River to Dharoi Dam, taking off and landing on water. This experience was unique. It adds strength to our resolve to harness waterways for India’s progress.”

4.28pm: What is the Congress party’s stand on instant triple talaq law, asks Ravi Shankar Prasad.

4.27pm: Did Manmohan Singh go to meet the Pakistani delegation with consultation of external affairs ministry, asks Ravi Shankar Prasad.

4.26pm: Why only temple visits during Gujarat elections? Why not visit temples elsewhere as well: Ravi Shankar Prasad asks Rahul Gandhi.

4.25pm: Be clear, will there be a Ram temple in Ayodhya or not: Ravi Shankar Prasad to Rahul Gandhi.

4.23pm: PM Narendra Modi: “My campaign journey in Gujarat, which began with the blessings of Ashapura Mata, ended today with the blessings Maa Amba. Experienced tremendous spiritual bliss and satisfaction of Karma Yog.”

4.15pm: Ravi Shankar Prasad at press conference: GDP of Gujarat was Rs 71,866 crore in 1995-96 now it’s Rs 10,33,791 (2016-17) crore.

3.57pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Sabarmati riverfront:

3.33pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront: ANI.

2.56pm: You can take this gesture of the PM as our other programmes like the Ro-Ro Ferry Service, or the Bullet Train project or the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS). You can take this new programme as one of the initiatives of the BJP: Gujarat BJP leader Jagdish Bhavsar.

2.55pm: Gujarat BJP leader Jagdish Bhavsar praises PM Modi’s seaplane flight.

2.50pm: PM Narendra Modi departs for Ahmedabad on the same seaplane from Dharoi dam after offering prayers at Ambaji temple in Banaskantha.

2.18pm: There was nothing secret about the dinner, Manmohan Singh and VP Ansari both are Z+ security protectees and so have to submit the full list to SPG: Prem Shankar Jha reacting to PM Modi’s charge that Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks came after the dinner.

2.15pm: It was a dinner by Mani Shankar Aiyar for ex-Pak external affairs minister Khurshid Kasuri. Former PM Manmohan Singh, former VP Ansari and many former senior diplomats were there, says senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha, who was a guest at the dinner.

2.01pm: They (BJP) did not understand development. It is called Hawa Hawai: Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala

2pm: Congress mocks PM Narendra Modi for taking a seaplane ride, calls it “Hawa Hawai”

1.57pm: In the last three months, Gujarat has shown me immense love. I will never forget this: Rahul Gandhi

1.56pm: My priority as the president of Indian National Congress is to strengthen the party. My aim is to improve the current political discourse in our country: Rahul Gandhi.

1.55pm: If Modi ji wants to fly on a seaplane, there is nothing wrong in it, it’s good. But it is only a distraction, what did you do for the people in the 22 years of your rule in Gujarat, asks Rahul Gandhi.

1.54pm: Modi ji’s seaplane flight is only a distraction over the real issues of Gujarat: Rahul Gandhi

1.52pm: In the last 22 years, Modi ji and (chief minister Vijay) Rupani ji have initiated only one-sided development here… only for 5 to 10 people. Not everyone has been given their due: Rahul Gandhi

1.51pm: Rahul Gandhi says the BJP’s rule in Gujarat has helped only a few people.

1.50pm: The BJP has lost its position. After the first phase of voting in the state (on December 9), we are confident that we are going to form the government here: Rahul Gandhi

1.46pm: INC has kept its focus on Gujarat’s issues of small and medium enterprises, farmers, unemployment. For the last three months, our party has tried to give a vision to Gujarat: Rahul Gandhi

1.45pm: Every year in November, Parliament holds its winter session. But this year, it is not the case. To avoid questions on Rafale deal and Jay Shah, PM Modi has shut down Parliament: Rahul Gandhi

1.44pm: People of Gujarat are very intelligent, they can see that PM Modi is not talking about corruption or farmers in his rallies. There is a massive undercurrent, I am actually little surprised,I had expected BJP to fight with more strength: Rahul Gandhi

1.43pm: I took action against Mani Shankar Aiyar for his comment against the Prime Minister, not against Modi ji. Modi ji’s comments on Manmohan Singh are also unacceptable: Rahul Gandhi.

1.41pm: Rs 6 lakh crore is given to big industrialists, why are small traders being neglected? Why did you impose note ban on small industrialists: Rahul Gandhi

1.40pm: BJP is worried as Patidar, farmers and other communities are standing up against the party: Rahul Gandhi.

1.35pm: PM Modi used to talk about corruption all the time. But after the Jay Shah case and Rafale deal were revealed, he stopped using the word “corruption” altogether: Rahul Gandhi

1.34pm: Whatever decision we will make about Gujarat, it will only be done after talking to the people of Gujarat, after listening to their voices. No decision will be taken unilaterally: Rahul Gandhi

1.33pm: Congress waived farm loans, we have given minimum support price to farmers. Modi ji made false promises of jobs to two crore Indians: Rahul Gandhi.

1.32pm: Whenever I went to a temple, I just prayed for a ‘Sunehra Bhavishya’ for the people of Gujarat, a better development here. Is it wrong to go to a temple: Rahul Gandhi.

1.31pm: Rahul Gandhi says he has visited many temples in many states, including Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, asks why the BJP criticised him over his visit to a temple in Gujarat.

1.30pm: Rahul Gandhi criticises Goods and Services Tax (GST), says “Gabbar Singh Tax” has harmed traders as well as the common people of Gujarat.

1.28pm: I have always spoken about balanced development. You have offered funds to industrialists but don’t waive farm loans: Rahul Gandhi on Gujarat’s BJP government.

1.25pm: PM Modi now only speaks about himself and the Congress, and has stopped talking about corruption, farmers issues: Rahul Gandhi

1.20pm: Colleges in Gujarat have been privatised, while the poor have to spend thousands to get medical treatment, says Rahul Gandhi.

1.18pm: Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi addresses press conference in Ahmedabad.

1.08pm: PM Narendra Modi reaches Ambaji, offers prayers at Ambaji temple.

12.58pm: “It was a very pleasing experience. I gave him safety briefing. He was a very good passenger. Sea planes are very common in many countries, it should be popular in India also as you have lakes, the rivers, the coastal areas,” says John Goulet, pilot of sea plane in which PM Modi flew.

12.31pm: People wave at Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his journey to Ambaji temple.

12.30pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his way to Ambaji temple in Banaskantha.

11.47am: If Rahul Gandhi wants, he can also use it (seaplane), no politics in it, says minister Gadkari.

11.46am: As per rules and regulations, the Prime Minister can use any transport facility, it has nothing to do with the Gujarat election, says minister Gadkari.

11.45am: Today is a historic day as PM travelled in a seaplane. It will be a big revolution in the transport sector as India has huge potential, says Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

11.42am: PM Narendra Modi travels from Dharoi dam to Ambaji by road.

11.40am: PM Modi reaches Dharoi dam on sea plane, will visit Ambaji temple.

10.55am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seaplane takes off for Dharoi dam.

10.50am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi boards seaplane on the Sabarmati river.

10.40am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives, to fly travel from Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi dam on a seaplane.

10.31am: Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi visits Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad.

10.30am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will land near the Dharoi dam on the Sabarmati river ahead of his visit to the Ambaji temple.

10.20am: Devotees reach Ambaji temple in Banaskantha, which will be visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

9.40am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi dam, and later offer prayers at Ambaji.

9.24am: Seaplane being readied on the Sabarmati river for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight.

8.46am: Rahul Gandhi seeks answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on land, employment, health and education for Dalits of Gujarat.

8.45am: Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweets another question for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

8.35am: Security tightened near the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seaplane sortie.

8.30pm: The BJP does not say if Modi would conduct any public meeting in Ahmedabad or elsewhere in central and north Gujarat where the second phase of polling is to take place.

8.27am: The Prime Minister would return to Ahmedabad around 2.30pm by the same route, says BJP.

8.25am: The BJP makes an announcement Monday night that Modi would be taking a special seaplane from the Sabarmati river and travel to the famous pilgrimage Ambaji temple by road after landing on the Dharoi dam waters in north Gujarat.