Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: Narendra Modi launched his campaign with a rally in Bhuj.
Bhuj, Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today compared the previous Congress government's response to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks nine years ago to his own government's response to the attack by Pakistani terrorists on a military base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri last year, which provoked surgical strikes by India. "India was attacked on 26/11 and in Uri. You can see how India responded in the wake of both attacks. This explains the difference between their Government and ours," he said in Bhuj, as he tore into the opposition party and its leader Rahul Gandhi in an election speech in his home state Gujarat, which votes for a new government in two weeks.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story ahead of Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017:
- It was a riposte to Rahul Gandhi, who had tweeted on Saturday, "Narendrabhai, it didn't work. Terror mastermind is free. President Trump just delinked Pak military funding from LeT. Hugplomacy fail. More hugs urgently needed.," referring to the release of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan just before ninth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack.
- PM Modi, who was addressing the first of four rallies today, pitched the Gujarat election as a fight between "vikas(development)" and "vanshwaad (dynasty)," in an attack on Rahul Gandhi, who is set to take over from his mother Sonia Gandhi as Congress president before Gujarat votes.
- The Prime Minister accused Mr Gandhi of making false allegations against him during his election campaign, stating, "This Gujarat son has no stains in his public life. You come to the state and level baseless allegations on the son of the soil... the people of the state will not forgive you."
- "Gujarat is my Aatma (Soul), Bharat is my Parmatma (Supreme Soul). This land of Gujarat has cared for me, Gujarat has given me strength," PM Modi said at his rally in Bhuj.
- Rahul Gandhi has in election speeches alleged that PM Modi's government negotiated an overpriced deal for Rafale fighter aircraft and has called the BJP's Gujarat development model is more hype than substance.
- PM Modi has launched from today a campaign blitz that will see him he will address two meetings in Saurashtra and one in south Gujarat. He will be back on Wednesday for eight more rallies in a hectic schedule that will see him address over 30 public meetings in the next two weeks before Gujarat begins voting on December 9.
- Bhuj and Saurashtra together send 54 legislators to the 182-member Gujarat assembly. Bhuj is a BJP stronghold that also has 33 per cent Muslim voters and has witnessed some of the most polarised elections in the past.
- Saurashtra's Amreli and Surat, PM Modi's last stop today, are dominated by the powerful Patel community, who the BJP hopes will continue to back it despite their recent displeasure over its government not including them in castes that get benefits of affirmative action.
- The Prime Minister leads an array of BJP A-listers in the party's campaign for the final leg of a hard fought battle with the Congress. 26 cabinet ministers, six BJP Chief Ministers and a dozen parliamentarians will fan out cover different parts of the state. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to draw the most crowds, local leaders have said.
- BJP chief Amit Shah has set the party a target of winning an unprecedented 150 of the state's 182 assembly seats. Elections will be held for 89 seats in Saurashtra and South Gujarat on December 9 and for 93 constituencies in central and northern Gujarat on December 14. Results will be announced on December 18 along with those for Himachal Pradesh, which voted earlier this month.
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