Narendra Modi hits back at Rahul Gandhi over balloon jibe on Gujarat model

Narendra Modi hits back at Rahul Gandhi over balloon jibe on Gujarat model

Narendra Modi addressing a rally in nanded, Maharashtra, on Sunday

Bijapur, Karnataka:  Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for his "balloon jibe", the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said that the Congress vice president should focus on the nation rather than criticising Gujarat which was declared "number one" by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

"If you think Gujarat model is a balloon, I want to ask if you trust your mother. The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by your mother, had declared Gujarat number one. Do you see a balloon in your mother's talk? Does your mother also release balloons?" Mr Modi said addressing a rally in Bijapur.

Tearing into the Gujarat development model, Mr Gandhi had said, "They (BJP) had made a balloon of 'India Shining' in 2004 and 2009. The people of India deflated it twice. This time they have blown a new, heavier balloon, the Gujarat model balloon filled with gas which will burst again."

Mr Modi today said that this election was taking place to elect the Prime Minister and the government at the Centre and not to form the government in Gujarat.

"Shehzade these days talks about Gujarat... is this election to elect the Gujarat government? Will its CM be elected? The election is to elect the Prime Minister, to form government in Delhi. Therefore, shouldn't the discussion be of the country's government?" Mr Modi said.

"You and your partymen came to Gujarat in 2002 and spoke lies about such balloon. But your balloon of lies was not accepted by the people of Gujarat. You had done the same thing in 2007 and 2012. But you could not make the people of Gujarat believe your lies. People were seeing development and that is why people have elected BJP," he added.

Mr Modi invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee's regime and said that more youth were given employment during his six year tenure than what Congress has done in ten years of their rule.

Portraying a picture of doom for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, Mr Modi said, "In no state will the Congress tally reach double digit... in some states they will not be able to even open account."

Mr Modi said he does not think those who looted the nation can escape. "I am seeing the mood from Kashmir to Kanyakumari."

Calling Congress manifesto a "Dhokha patra", the Gujarat Chief Minister said that the party had become "so thick skinned that despite doing nothing in their ten-year rule, they have again said that they will give employment to 10 crore youths".

"Figures say it itself. During Vajpayeeji's government which lasted for six years, 6.5 crore youths were given employment...and during Madam's government in 10 years, only 1.25 crore youths have been given employment," Mr Modi said.

Mr Modi also said that farmers are dying in the country due to wrong policies of the government at Centre.

While sugarcane farmers are not getting proper prices for their products, sugar mills are lying closed, he said.

He said more farmers have died in the country than jawans while fighting battles.

Accusing Congress for working with other parties with an aim that he should not win, Mr Modi asked, "Why the fear among Congressmen? Why are they afraid? They know their place after 16th May... that is why they are scared. But this is a democracy. Once the people bless someone, nothing else works," he added.

Mr Modi said Congress won't be saved and neither can it save the nation.

Mocking the Congress manifesto further, Mr Modi said the party keeps "playing the same tape record, but the country needs a track record." He called the manifesto "a bundles of lies."

"It is not a manifesto but a document of deceit," he added.

Mr Modi said the country has demographic dividend, democracy and a large demand.

"These 3Ds, no other nation has. Such a youthful nation, what can it not do! It can do everything. We can become the pride of the world."

Stating that one needs the right intentions to free the country from corruption, he said, "Some say there is no freedom from corruption. I disagree. ... one needs the right intentions," he said.

There would not be any scope for corruption if the state is policy-driven and then the scope for discrimination will not arise, he said.

Mr Modi later addressed a rally in Gokak in Belgaum district, where he said that the mood of the people was clear and there is no need for any analysis. "The wave is becoming a tsunami," he said.

He said UPA should tell people what they did because it is a parliamentary election. "Tell me is this a parliamentary election or not? Should UPA not tell people what they did?"

"The Congress' arrogance is sky high and that is why it is refusing to answer the people," Mr Modi said.

He also promised to bring back black money stashed abroad if the BJP is voted to power. "Every citizen wants that black money should be brought back. But Congress doesn't intend to do so," he added.

He said Congress' "single point agenda" was to stop him while he wanted the country to progress. "You have always chosen rulers. This time, I request you to elect a servant."

Mr Modi said in an affidavit in the Supreme Court the Centre had admitted that the Atal Behari Vajpayee government had built half the roads in India in the last several years, but the Congress took 60 years to prepare infrastructure maps.

"Atalji had the vision to develop infrastructure, but Congress believes in the opposite. Is this how you function?" he said. "You (Congress) took 60 years to make infrastructure maps so you will take 600 years to get them on the ground. Can people wait for 600 years," he added.

Karnataka can contribute so much to India's economy, but the Congress government has not done anything for the state, Mr Modi said.

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