Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address four rallies on 29 November in different parts of south Gujarat, where polling for the first phase of Assembly elections will be held on 9 December.
On Wednesday, Modi will address poll rallies in Morbi and Prachi villages near Somnath, Palitana in Bhavnagar and at Navsari in Surat city in south Gujarat, Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav told a press conference in Ahmedabad. "Each rally has been organised in such a way that people from five to six surrounding constituencies can also attend it," Yadav added.
File image of Hardik Patel. AFP
Sources state that the prime minister will arrive in Morbi at around 11:00 am, while he will reach Prachi village in Somnath at 1:25 pm. His visit to Pali will kick off at 3:30 pm and he will end his tour with a rally at Navsari at 5:30 pm.
Modi, who had started his high voltage campaign with rallies on 27 November in Bhuj in Kutch district, Jasdan in Rajkot, Chalala in Amreli and Kadodara near Surat, took on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the opposition party on issues related to China, Lashkar-e-Taiba's Hafiz Saeed, the surgical strike as well as corruption.
During his campaign in the state in the last few days, Rahul had trained his guns at the Modi-led government over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, demonetisation and alleged corruption charges on BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay Shah.
In response, Modi slammed the Opposition over its criticism of the Central government. At the Bhuj rally on 27 November, Modi pitched the election as a fight between "trust on development and dynastic politics." He asked the people of Gujarat not to forgive Congress leaders as they had levelled baseless allegations on the "son of Gujarat" who has a stainless public life. "I want to tell them that I am Modi, who is ready to sell tea but will never commit the sin of selling the entire country," he said, in an apparent reference to scams during the Congress-led UPA rule.
Modi also trained his guns on Rahul, accused him of applauding the release of Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and asking why he hugged the Chinese ambassador during the Doka La standoff. "You are happy to hug the Chinese ambassador, you are clapping at the release of Hafiz Saeed, you cannot respect Indian Army's surgical strike... But why did you speak about it? You could have just remained silent," he said in Bhuj, not specifying how and where Gandhi had hailed Saeed's release.
Modi's initial speeches in the poll-bound state have already riled up the opposition, with Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma saying that Modi was running away from the real issues. "The prime minister is being emotional just to run away from real issues. Why doesn't he speak about real issues than of 'being a son' and all that? Everybody knows he is from Gujarat. Nobody is denying that. But why go on repeating that instead of talking about development if it has really been carried out in the state," he said about Modi's comments on 27 November. It is worth looking forward to how the prime minister will respond to these barbs by the Congress party on Wednesday.
The polling for the two-phase elections in the state, having total 182 assembly seats, will take place on 9 and 14 December and votes will be counted on 18 December, the same date as the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.
While 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat region will go to polls in the first phase, the election in the remaining 93 constituencies in central and northern regions will be held in the second phase.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2017 20:58 PM