"But this election is not about PM Modi or me, about the BJP or the Congress. This is about Gujarat's future," the Congress' soon-to-be president said. Mr Gandhi was the only one to file his nomination for the Congress president's post and is set to take over next Saturday, two days after the second phase of polling for the hotly-contested Gujarat assembly elections.
"Yesterday, I heard Mr Modi's speech. In that, 90 per cent time Modiji spoke about Modiji," Mr Gandhi said at rallies in central and north Gujarat, claiming that the BJP's plank for this election had shifted, first from Narmada waters, welfare of backward communities and then the Vikas yatra. "Now, it has applied the brakes."
"Modiji talks about Modiji because he has nothing left to talk about," he said.
Over the past few days, PM Modi had been sharply critical of Congress leaders and asked voters to avenge the insult hurled at him and by extension to Gujarat after Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's called him a neech aadmi. The Congress had promptly disassociated from Mr Aiyar and later even suspended Mr Aiyar for the self-goal but the BJP did not let go.
Mr Gandhi wondered why the Prime Minister had stopped talking about development.
"You have little to report of the last 22 years of BJP government in Gujarat. This is why you need all this, Modiji," he said. And PM Modi could not talk about the future, the Congress leader said, because he knew people would not believe him any longer.
Mr Gandhi recalled how PM Modi would talk about jobs, education, health and the bullet train during the 2014 general elections. "Narendra Modi had said you will get Rs 15 lakh in your bank accounts, you did not get even 15 paise," Mr Gandhi said tauntingly.
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