- PM Modi took a seaplane ride on Sabarmati river
- He offered prayers at temple in Mehsana as Gujarat campaigning ends today
- Rahul Gandhi attacks PM, says "distraction from key questions"
Amid some controversy over PM Modi riding the single-engine seaplane - the security rule-book says the Prime Minister can only fly in twin or multi-engine aircraft - he took off from near the Sardar Bridge connecting Ahmedabad's old city with the newer parts in the west. A special jetty was constructed to facilitate the boarding.
Photos showed PM Modi buckled in a seat in the sea plane. John Goulet, the pilot who flew the seaplane, said, "It was a very pleasing experience. I gave him a safety briefing. He was a very good passenger. Sea planes are very common in many countries, it should be popular in India also as you have lakes, the rivers, the coastal areas."
The seaplane take-off from the Sabarmati was Plan B after the PM's roadshow in Ahmedabad today was cancelled. It is designed to draw attention to the development work done by the BJP, which is seeking a fifth straight term in power in Gujarat, in response to the Congress, which has focused its campaign on alleging that the Gujarat model of development is a fail.
Mr Gandhi swapped his roadshow plan with a press conference in Ahmedabad, where he attacked PM Modi over jobs, new national tax GST and other issues. The battle for the crucial state, seen as a PM Modi vs Rahul Gandhi contest, saw the two leaders conduct aggressive campaigns and make sharp, often personal remarks against each other.
Both addressed multiple rallies in the last few days of campaigning, with political sparring escalating after PM Modi alleged that Pakistan was interfering in the Gujarat elections and that Congress leaders, including his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh, discussed the state polls with Pakistani guests at a dinner hosted last week by Mani Shankar Aiyar, since suspended from the Congress over his "neech" slur against the PM.
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