BJP chief Amit Shah today attacked Rahul Gandhi for questioning the “development model of Gujarat” and accused Congress of facing injustices with the state while virtually launching the campaign for the crucial assembly polls in Sardar Vallabhbhai’s birthplace Patel. Shah paid homage to Patel at his ancestral home in Karamsad along with Prime Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Prime Minister Nitin Patel before launching the “Gujarat Gaurav Yatra” (March for Honor) to highlight state achievements over the two decades of the BJP government. Then-Prime Minister Narendra Modi had drawn a yatra with the same name before the 2002 Gujarat Assembly elections. The road show, to be held in assembly elections ahead of December this year, will cover the center of Gujarat in its first leg.
Addressing the meeting, Shah accused Congress of inflicting “injustice” on Gujarat, generation after generation, and said that in the upcoming Assembly elections, people of the state would mock those who “mocked the development of Gujarat.” “Today the BJP launches Gujarat Gaurav Yatra from the same land of Sardar Patel from where he raised the voice of the farmers and began work to unify the country,” he said. Referring to President Rahul Gandhi’s recent campaign tour of Saurashtra, Shah said, “Rahul Gandhi comes here and seeks a response from us regarding what the BJP has done in the state.” We are looking for a response from you by injustices that the three generations of his rule inflicted on us, “said BJP president.
While the first generation of Congress “insulted” Sardar Patel by failing to give him due recognition and Bharat Ratna, former Congressional Prime Minister “Indira Gandhi did injustice to Morarji Desai,” Shah said. “The third generation of (congressional leaders) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have done injustice with Narendra Modi, and Gujarat is looking for an answer to that,” he said. When Shah began his speech, a group of men from the community of Patidar in the audience tried to raise some slogans in favor of the agitation of the Patel quota, but they were carried away by the police personnel there present. Shah also listed several achievements of the BJP-led governments in the state. He compared the situation in Gujarat in 1995, when the BJP seized power from Congress, and what the state had achieved until 2017 in standards such as power generation, agricultural production, education, police, road infrastructure, among others.
“When Narendra Modi was the prime minister, he created a model of development for Gujarat that today has become a model for the whole country.” This model is Gujarat’s pride, “he said. He said that Modi secured electricity 24X7, water through the Narmada dam and investments through Vibrant Gujarat Summit. The “Sonia-Manmohan Singh” government in the 10-year UPA government inflicted a great injustice in Gujarat by holding the Narmada Dam project, he claimed. But with Modi becoming the prime minister, gave approval to increase the height of the dam, said the president of BJP. “The gates (of the Narmada dam) are closed and water has started to reach Rajasthan,” he said.
Shah said that Gujarat received the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), bullet train, among others, after Narendra Modi became the prime minister. The second stage of Gujarat Gaurav Yatra will be released by Shah tomorrow from Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. The yatra will continue until October 15. It will be carried out on two routes simultaneously. Prime Minister Modi and Shah will remain present for the closing ceremony of the yatra, whose place has not yet been decided.