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Gujarat Election 2017 updates: This fight is against BJP's arrogance, says Hardik Patel in Rajkot

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 polls will be held on 9 December

FP Staff November 29, 2017 20:58:58 IST
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Gujarat Election 2017 updates: This fight is against BJP's arrogance, says Hardik Patel in Rajkot

Highlights

13:12 (ist)

Congress has been found it difficult to counter Modi

After Modi became the chief minister in October 2001, Congress has been struggling to find an equally strong match to counter him. Under Modi, the BJP won three consecutive Assembly elections, a feat not achieved by any of the chief ministers in the past.

“It is not the BJP which is winning any election. It is in fact Modi who was winning all this while. There is a huge leadership crisis in Gujarat Congress which helped Modi to grow stronger and stronger,” Sanjay Kumar, director of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies told Firstpost.

13:05 (ist)

Miffed with BJP after Una flogging incident, Dalits inch towards Congress

Jignesh Mevani, who emerged after the incident, is considered a hero among the Dalits here. They are talking about organising protests for their rights and justice. The Dalits only form about eight percent of the voters in Gujarat, while they make up 16 percent in the country. They are not much influential in the poll-bound state.

The Dalit factor has emerged in this year's Assembly election primarily because of the Dalit movement after the Una incident. Under the leadership of Mevani, the Dalits have come closer to the Congress.

13:03 (ist)

Hardik betrayed Patidars, says Vijay Rupani

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday accused PAAS leader Hardik Patel of betraying his Patidar community and claimed that the Congress will pay heavily in the Assembly elections for portraying Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "chaiwala" on social media.

"The Patidar fight is no more for a community. It has become a private affair. The Patidars and the BJP are two sides of the same coin, they will vote for us," Rupani said at a conclave of India TV.

12:58 (ist)

The poor state of Surendranagar district

Surendranagar district, bordering state capital Ahmadabad, is at the edge of Saurashtra region. It is poorly developed, enveloped by dusty air and potholed roads.

10:51 (ist)

How rise of Hindutva helped BJP win elections in 1995 

The 1985 riots in Ahmedabad are important in the context of BJP’s rise to power. “While it began on an anti-reservation plank, it quickly degenerated into a communal one because of the entry of the BJP,” Yagnik said. Yagnik added that riots in the late 80s and in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition communally polarised the state, which helped the BJP win the 1995 Assembly election.

10:30 (ist)

Flashback: In 2002, Narendra Modi began 'Gujarat Gaurav Yatra' after the post-Godhra riots

In 2002, Modi set out on his Gujarat Gaurav Yatra in the backdrop of serious allegations of state-sponsored communal violence after the Godhra train attack where he played the same victim- hood card converting all criticism against him and his government as an insult to the Gujarati pride. And it worked. Similarly, the condemnation of state-sponsored violence established him as a veritable Hindu Hriday Samrat who had taught the Muslims a lesson.

09:54 (ist)

Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi just 50 kms apart from each other

According to India Today, Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to arrive at Somnath temple for darshan at 1 pm while Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a public rally 1.20 pm in Prachi, 23 kilometres from the temple.

09:33 (ist)

Gujarat polls 2017 is all about community votebank

It is no coincidence that nobody is talking about the Muslim vote bank this election season. The BJP is never known to explicitly woo the minority community; the Muslim voter has looked at the Congress as its only support.  However, the Congress, this season adapted a different strategy — prioritising winnability over anything else.

And caste-based movements across Gujarat in the recent past — the Dalit protests after the Una flogging incident and the Patidar agitation — have sent the Muslims to the sidelines. And poll math only warrants a change in strategy.

17:49 (ist)

 Narendra Modi starts address in Kadodara, Surat

Supporters have come in busloads from more nearby talukas to attend Modi's Kadodara rally. Most of them were wearing BJP sashes and chanting slogans - Har Har Modi. 

Meanwhile, News 18 reported that the earlier, the venue for the rally was inside main Surat city, however, it was later shifted out to Kadodara, at the outskirts of city. Even as BJP cited logistical reasons for the change in venue, News 18 sources said that intel agencies have warned of a Patidar agitation at the rally. 

10:40 (ist)

Congress' Indraneel Rajyaguru is relaxed ahead of battle with 'bad man' Vijay Rupani

Rajyaguru had won the previous election from Rajkot (East) constituency. He was among the three lucky winners for the Congress from the 38 urban constituencies in Gujarat's three big cities — Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. But, acting on his promise of chasing the chief minister, he decided to shift to Rajkot (West) last year. "I decided to contest against Rupani the moment I heard he would be named chief minister. He is not a good man, he needs to be defeated," he says. 

10:31 (ist)

Vijay Rupani accuses Congress of caste politics

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has accused the Congress of seeking refuge in casteism and "outsourcing" its campaign to caste leaders while dismissing any threat to the BJP's poll prospects from the Congress-Hardik Patel tie-up. He alleged that the Congress was "deceiving" the people over the issue of reservation, while the agitators were lining up for poll tickets.

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel's open support to the Congress in the December Assembly polls is not an electoral alliance but a "deal" between two sides, Rupani told PTI in an interview.

10:01 (ist)

Modi's journey from 'Hindu Hriday Samrat to 'Sadhbhavana yatra'

Modi earned encomiums as the 'Hindu Hriday Samrat' (Hindu heartthrob) in post-Godhra Gujarat, moreso after his statewide Gaurav Yatra that saw rabid Muslim-bashing, but brought him bountiful seats in the election that followed in 2002. However, no sooner did he acquire national ambitions manifested in the three-day Sadbhavana fast in September 2011, that he sought to open a line to the minority community through Ahmedabad-based businessman Zafar Sareshwala, who was subsequently appointed chancellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad after Modi became prime minister.

08:58 (ist)

Congress members in Radhanpur protest Alpesh Thakore's nomination 

In North Gujarat's Radhanpur, as many as 2,000 Congress workers have threatened to resign from the party to protest the candidature of Alpesh Thakore, who joined the party just a month ago.

08:37 (ist)

Who will win Gujarat election? That's a question which might confound even the great Sherlock Holmes

No, nothing is simple in this year's election. It is turning out to be a racy whowinit even Holmes would have left alone. Two things are clear after a fortnight on the campaign trail: One, both parties are confident in public and confused in private. Two, Hindutva is getting replaced with caste identity, depriving the BJP of its biggest weapon.

Read more here.

08:05 (ist)

Congress' situation in Kutch

In Kutch, from where Modi begins his tour on Monday, the entire Congress-controlled agriculture produce market committee along with hordes of supporters quit the Congress and joined the BJP in protest against official party nominees.

07:57 (ist)

Meanwhile, Congress in disarray ahead of his visit 

A day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited campaign tour, Congress leaders had to call in the police to prevent furious cadres from creating ruckus at the party headquarters in Ahmedabad's Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, hours after it declared the third and the final list of candidates.

Congress leaders in several constituencies threatened to resign from the party if "imported candidates" were not withdrawn and replaced by "dedicated partymen” of their choice.

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Nov 29, 2017 - 20:39 (IST)

Show me where is your vikas I will stop my kranti andolan: Hardik Patel challenges BJP

"What is vikas (development), where is vikas, villages don't have pucca houses, if you recharge phone with 4g data pack you get 2g internet, is this vikas. show me where is vikas and I will suspend my kranti anddolan (movement). 

Nov 29, 2017 - 20:30 (IST)

This is not the fight of Patidars alone: Hardik

"This is not just the fight of the Patidar samaj, this is not about Dalits or Kshatriyas. This is the fight of 6 crore Gujaratis. You place a hand on your heart and tell me where is vikas. How many gas cylinders did you get, how much water do you get tell me honestly. This is the fight to defeat their arrogance," Hardik said. 

Nov 29, 2017 - 20:27 (IST)

BJP has always worked to divide society

"They may label me a Congress agent, but they have always divided the society. It was because of them that Patidar samaj was brought on roads, they were the reason Dalits had to fight for their rights," Hardik said. 

"And this is why we are against them," Hardik said. 

Nov 29, 2017 - 19:59 (IST)

Hardik Patel supporters present him with a sword at Rajkot rally 

Nov 29, 2017 - 19:41 (IST)

Hardik Patel reaches at Rajkot rally

Nov 29, 2017 - 19:32 (IST)

Hardik Patel's Mahakrishri Sabha becomes talking point amid Congress, BJP's mega rallies 

Nov 29, 2017 - 19:14 (IST)

Meanwhile... Hardik Patel to address rally in Rajkot shortly; huge crowds seen at venue

Nov 29, 2017 - 18:25 (IST)

Modi questions Congress’ commitment to development, GST

"The Congress version of GST places salt, which a poor person wants with expensive cigarettes and alcohol. How can I allow this? Our fight is for giving the poor their rights while Congress fights for the interests of the rich," Modi said. 

Nov 29, 2017 - 18:17 (IST)

Congress loves to question our army: Modi

Narendra Modi, speaking about the Doka La crisis, said that his question to Congress is clear, "Why do you believe the Chinese and not our army and our foreign ministry."

Modi said that Congress loves to question the army, they questioned the surgical strike too. "They asked for proof, they asked for pictures... should we make a film for them," Modi asked. He said that they even asked that if our side did have any casualty as our soldiers languished and suffered on border. People who talk like that should not expect votes in Congress. 

Nov 29, 2017 - 18:13 (IST)

PM takes a long pause during speech as sounds of azaan echoed in Navsari

As a mark of respect for Muslim prayers (Azaan), prime minister interrupted his speech and took a long pause as people wondered what went wrong. Many in the crowd were seen cheering him, chanting Modi Modi as they waited for the PM to restart his speech. When Modi spoke again, he briefly mentioned that he had stopped as he heard the sounds of Azaan, and continued with his speech. 


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.

Gujarat Election 2017 updates This fight is against BJPs arrogance says Hardik Patel in Rajkot

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 

Click here for detailed coverage of Gujarat Assembly Election 2017

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