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PM Modi calls for record turnout in Gujarat polls

Updated on Nov 24, 2022 07:48 AM IST

Modi was speaking at rallies as he resumed his extensive campaign for Gujarat elections, holding events in Dahod, Mehsana, Vadodara and Bhavnagar.

Narendra Modi at a public meeting in Mehsana on Wednesday. (ANI)
By, Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appealed to voters to set a new polling record in the upcoming Gujarat elections, promising that state will have industries of the future in coming years, with investments in hydrogen fuel production and semiconductor manufacturing, and billed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as critical for the development work over the next decades.

Modi was speaking at rallies as he resumed his extensive campaign for Gujarat elections, holding events in Dahod, Mehsana, Vadodara and Bhavnagar.

Bhavnagar goes to polls on the first phase on December 1, while Dahod, Mehsana and Vadodara go to polls in the second phase on December 5. Separately, Union home minister Amit Shah took on Jasvan, Surendranagar, Bhatoli.

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The PM urged voters, especially the young, to cast their ballots in large numbers. “You (young generation) have seen vibrant Gujarat, but we have given our sweat and blood to make it vibrant in the last two decades.. It is now your responsibility to make India and Gujarat prosperous over the next 25 years by pressing the Lotus button to form your BJP government in the upcoming election in 10 days (December 5),” he said at tribal-dominated Dahod.

Later, canvassing in Bhavnagar, Modi spoke about the party’s development agenda.

“I want to make Gujarat the biggest hub of green hydrogen (in the world). A new ecosystem for that sector will come up on Gujarat’s coastline, be it in Kutch or Bhavnagar or in Junagadh. Green hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Cars will run on that fuel in the future. The entire world will experience a total transformation,” he said.

Modi said that the thrust on the green hydrogen segment will create large-scale jobs, and added that the state’s coastline will become a preferred destination for the sector which is expected to attract an investment of 8 to 10 lakh crore.

He also spoke of the Vedanta-Foxconn’s mega semiconductor plant, announced in September, which is to come up in the Dholera Special Investment Region in Ahmedabad district with an investment of 1.5 lakh crore.

Canvassing in Mehsana, the Prime Minister said that Gujarat has prospered in the last 20 years and will continue to do so with the development policies of the BJP. “If the country is to be taken forward in the next 25 years, only BJP’s policies, practices and tactics will work.”

Like at other rallies, he continued his attack on the opposition Congress, claiming that its policies ruined not just Gujarat, but the entire country. The “Congress model”, Modi said, means “nepotism, casteism, sectarianism, corruption, and vote bank politics”.

“Congress has extensive experience running governments at the Centre and State levels for the longest period of time. But the Congress model is characterised by corruption, nepotism, dynasty, casteism, and many others. This model has not only ruined Gujarat, but also India. This is the reason why we must work incredibly hard to advance the nation today,” he said.

The PM also blamed the Congress for the deaths of farmers during their regime’s agitation outside the Gujarat assembly. “During their (Congress) government in Gujarat, the Congress killed many farmers who asked for electricity.” People desired access to electricity, but there was widespread corruption. Poor farmers were killed for electricity, and there was a power and water blackout.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out the Narendra Modi led-government at the Centre, as he accused it of breaking the “sacred relationship” with soldiers by introducing the Agnipath scheme. He said the government has brought the scheme that would turn youths jobless for life after mere four years of service as Agniveers. Gandhi was addressing a public meeting in Burhanpur city of Madhya Pradesh. “Earlier, the government used to protect the interests of the youths, who would the Army and take the oath of protecting the national flag throughout their lives. But (by bringing in Agnipath scheme for recruitment of Agniveers), the Modi government has broken this sacred relationship,” he said.Referring to the collapse of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in March 2020 after 15 months of coming to power, Gandhi accused the BJP of buying corrupt MLAs for crores of rupees.

Exuding confidence that people of Gujarat will give historic victory to BJP, the PM said: “Today Gujaratis have only one slogan... once again... Modi government,” “In the last 20 years, Gujarat has changed a lot. Today’s generation does not know the scarcity Gujarat faced. This generation has not seen scarcity. For this, the previous generation has worked hard.”

Speaking at an election rally in Dahod, Modi also sought to corner why the Congress on not supporting President Droupadi Murmu during the presidential elections in July.

“When the BJP proposed the name of a tribal woman as the face of the Presidential election, Congress got such a severe ache in their stomach that they fielded their candidate to defeat her,” he said. “Why the Congress never though of making an adivasi our President? It was the BJP which made a tribal person, that too a woman, our country’s President for the first time and sent a message to the world.”

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