Gujarat elections: Modi holds mega roadshow, targets Congress on ‘Ravan’ jibe
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three election rallies in Gujarat and held a massive 50-kilometre-long roadshow from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three election rallies in Gujarat and held a massive 50-kilometre-long roadshow from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar on Thursday and hit back at the Congress, saying there was a competition in the opposition party on who could abuse the Prime Minister more.
Modi’s mega campaign push came on a day 89 seats went to the polls in the first phase of the assembly elections.
On Thursday morning, at a rally in Kalol town of Panchmahal district, Modi attacked the Congress.
“There is a competition among Congress leaders as to who will use the most abusive words for Modi... Those who never believed in the existence of Lord Ram are now talking about the (demon king) Ravan. What surprises me is that they never expressed repentance, forget about tendering an apology, after using such abusive words for me,” he said.
This came three days after Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said in a rally in Behrampura that the PM constantly asked people to vote “looking at his face”, and asked if Modi had “100 heads like Ravan.” The BJP sought to make the remarks a poll issue with senior BJP leaders saying that Modi was the pride of Gujarat and that the state would not forgive this insult. “A few days ago, a Congress leader went on to say that Modi will die a dog’s death, another said Modi will die Hitler’s death. Another said if I get a chance, I’ll kill Modi myself... Someone says Ravan, someone says rakshash (demon), someone says cockroach,” Modi said in Kalol.
Union home minister Amit Shah also hit out at the Congress over Kharge’s remark. “Many times Congress used bad words for PM Modi in Gujarat and the people of Gujarat replied with the ballot. The people of Gujarat will definitely give reply to PM’s insult,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Kharge, however, countered the PM and said Modi hurls “four quintals of gaalis” (abuses) at the Congress and its leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, everyday.“Modi claims that Congress gives him two kilograms of gaalis (abuses) everyday. The fact is that you give us four quintals of gaalis everyday. Sometimes you target me or Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. Without giving us gaalis, you are unable to digest your food. But for the sake of citizens, we never say anything,” the Congress leader said in Vadodara.
The Prime Minister’s roadshow in Ahmedabad – with saffron-clad supporters lining up on both sides of the road as he travelled in an open vehicle – began at 5:20pm from Naroda Gam area in the city, culminating at Chandkheda.
The route, roughly 50 kilometres long, had 35 stops, including one where Modi garlanded a statue of Vallabhbhai Patel in Ghatlodia.
Modi’s roadshow, senior BJP leaders said, covered 15 constituencies in all – 14 of the 16 in Ahmedabad, and one in Gandhinagar(south). One of the seats that the roadshow passed through, with Modi waving to the crowds in a saffron cap, was Maninagar – a seat that he represented from 2002 to 2014.
At another rally at Bodeli town of Chhota Udepur district that will go to the polls on December 5, the Prime Minister attacked the Congress and said, “For decades, Congress has been saying only one thing – garibi hatao (eradicate poverty). People gave you power for that but you were asking them to remove poverty. Raising slogans, making false promises and misguiding people is all that they have done,” he alleged.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the Prime Minister was trying to divert public’s attention from real issues.
“Instead of trying to raise such issues to stir people’s sentiments, the Prime Minister should respond to questions like why inflation has been so high in the last eight years,” he said.