Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his campaign from Bhuj (File)
As he kicks off the poll campaign in his home state today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will address between 32 and 35 rallies in Gujarat in the next two weeks, where assembly elections will be held on December 9 and 14.
The Prime Minister begins his campaign
today from Bhuj, a BJP stronghold that also has 33 per cent Muslim voters. Later in the day, he will address rallies in Jasdan town of Rajkot, Dhari in Amreli and Kamrej in Surat district. Amreli is dominated by the powerful Patel community, who the BJP hopes
will continue to back it despite their recent displeasure over not being included in castes that get benefits of affirmative action.
The polling for the two-phase elections in the state, having a total of 182 assembly seats, will take place on December 9 and 14 and the votes will be counted on December 18. 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.
Here are the live updates of PM Narendra Modi's visit to Gujarat:
In Uttar Pradesh the Congress was feeling so confident about victory. They begun to call Gujaratis donkeys. And now, they are coming here to Gujarat to seek support. Nobody can insult the people of Gujarat like this: PM Modi at Surat
PM Modi to address rally in Kamrej, Surat.
Our efforts against corruption have naturally troubled the Congress, says the prime minister in Dhari
Addressing the people of Dhari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about how the ruling BJP government developed the economy in Amreli district. "Amreli district is on the coast and it is the BJP Government in Gujarat that worked on harnessing the coastal strengths of this district. We focussed on the blue economy," he said.
"The BJP Government in Gujarat got dairies to Saurashtra. Amreli is emerging as a hub for dairy and cooperative sectors over the last two decades."
PM Narendra Modi is in Dhari now to address his third political rally of the day.
PM Narendra Modi made another emotional remark in Jasdan, Rajkot, after Bhuj and said that Gujarat was his motherland and he would dedicate his entire life to serve the state. Earlier in the day, he called himself "son of Gujarat" at the Bhuj rally.
Accusing Congress of indulging into caste politics, PM Narendra Modi addressed locals in Jasdan, Rajkot, saying, "Pitting one caste against the other is Congress' tendency. Make sure that you do not let them destroy the composite culture of Gujarat."
As he addressed the people in Rajkot, he reminded the locals about the achievements of the ruling BJP government. "Remember the Gujarat before BJP came to power? To travel to Ahmedabad also people had to ask is it safe. Law and order situation in the state was very poor. All this changed after BJP came to power," PM Modi said.
While Congress is trying hard to strike a chord with the Patidar community in Gujarat, PM Narendra Modi said the party has disrespected the community.
"When Keshubhai Patel, a son of Saurashtra became the CM the Congress tried everything to dislodge him. They repeated the same disruptive tactic with Anandiben Patel, a daughter of the Patel Community. Congress has defamed Gujarat always," he said criticizing the grand old party.
"When Chimanbhai Patel begun to stand on his own feet the Congress got angry- why is he being independent? So they removed him as well. It was the BJP that supported Chimanbhai and both he and Keshubhai Patel worked together," he said and added, "It was with the support of the Jan Sangh that a person from the Patel Community, Babubhai Patel became CM. Congress did not like this and ensured that Babubhai Jashbhai's government did not last."
Stressing that "the solution to all problems is development," PM Narendra Modi while addressing rally in Jasdan said,"Development has to be continuous. We want to work even more for the people of Gujarat."
"We have served Gujarat without any discrimination. Our belief is in the Mantra of 'Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas'," he asserted.
PM Narendra Modi, during his speech at Jasdan, Rajkot, said Congress attacked him because of his "poor origins".
"The Congress dislikes me because of my poor origins. Can a party stoop so low? Yes, a person belonging to a poor family has become PM. They do not fail to hide their contempt for this fact. Yes, I sold tea but I did not sell the nation," he said.
"I request the Congress not to mock the poor and my poor origins." 'Yuva Desh,' the official handle of Indian Youth Congress's online magazine, recently mocked PM Modi in a meme tweeted from its official handle. The tweet, however, was deleted later after receiving criticism.
PM Modi continued to talk about the "negative politics" of Congress around Narmada river in Jasdan, Rajkot. "When we started bringing the waters of the Narmada here to Saurashtra, there were people who were mocking us. Their negative politics has not changed over the years. Our faith is in politics of development and good governance."
After attacking Congress in Kutch's Bhuj, PM Narendra Modi reached Jasdan, Rajkot, and lashed out at the Aam Admi Party. "A new party came up in Delhi, whose style is to keep abusing and running away. I thought the Congress, being an older party would not indulge in such politics but they have also taken this short cut in the past two months and only hurled abuses and lies," he said.
After kicking off his poll campaign in Kutch, PM Narendra Modi has reached Jasdan in Rajkot to address another public rally.
The ruling BJP has been in power in Gujarat for over two decades. However, Congress is trying to leverage the discontent in the Patidar community to contest elections against BJP. The grand old party recently sealed a deal with Hardik Patel-led Patidar community, which is seeking reservation in government jobs and education.
While PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to address several political rallies in Gujarat, the BJP today released its sixth and final list for the upcoming assembly elections in the state. The party has dropped former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel from the list of 34 candidates. However, BJP has given tickets to 12 sitting MLAs.
Refuting all the allegations hurled by the opposition parties, PM Modi in an emotional statement called himself "Gujarat's son". "This 'son of Gujarat' has no stains in his public life, people will reject baseless allegations hurled at him," he said.
"Gujarat is my atma (soul), Bharat is my parmatma (god). This land of Gujarat has cared for me, Gujarat has given me strength," he said, and insisted Gujarat election was a contest between "trust on development" and "dynastic politics."
PM Narendra Modi at the Bhuj rally stressed that the BJP was not a power-hungry party. "We are not here for power, we are here for 125 crore Indians. We want to take India to new heights of glory."
Earlier at the rally, he had said, "There are some people who love spreading negativity and pessimism. My appeal to them is to stop doing that. They lack Neeti (policy), Niyat (intention), a Neta (leader) and a Naata (bond) with the people."
Talking about the 2016 surgical strikes that were said to a response to Uri attack, PM Narendra Modi said, "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 (Congress) government and ours."
He also accused Congress of celebrating the recent release of terrorist Hafiz Saeed. "A Pakistani court released a Pakistani terrorist and the Congress is celebrating. I was surprised why. And this same Congress refused to believe our own army on surgical strikes and preferred to believe the Chinese Ambassador."
Invoking the "Iron Man of India," PM Narendra Modi accused of Congress of insulting Sardar Patel. "Congress had insulted Sardar Patel, and people of Gujarat still forgave them but they will no longer tolerate any attack on their prestige," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
"Congress is unhappy about demonetisation. They keep attacking me but I want to tell them... I have grown up in the same land as Sardar Patel. I will ensure that the poor get their due. We will not allow this nation to be looted."
Referring to the 2001 earthquake in Kutch, PM Narendra Modi, while speaking at the Bhuj rally today, said, "When earthquake struck Kutch region in 2001, Atal Bihari Vajpayee sent me to the region to work among its people and that taught me a lot."
"The development work in Kutch after the 2001 quake is for all to see. Who imagined that Kutch can do so well in agriculture. People from the nation are coming here to enjoy the Rann Utsav."
PM Modi praised the people of Kutch for their resilience. "When big earthquakes take place, people say see this building has fell but in Kutch people say this school, this hospital, these buildings were made after the earthquake. All this was done on war footing by the army of Kutch which consists of its people," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
PM Modi further attacked Congress saying the grand old party did not allow Narmada water to come to Kutch region. "Officers did not want to get posted to Kutch region as the water here was black in colour. Congress did not allow Narmada water to come to Kutch region. What if the Narmada waters had come to Kutch 30 years earlier? It would have made such a big difference," ANI quoted him as saying.
PM Narendra Modi, while addressing the locals in Bhuj, attacked Congress over dynastic politics. "On one side there is Vikas
(development) and Vishwas
(trust) while on the other side there is Vanshwad
(dynasty). Gujarat will never forgive the Congress Party and this has been the case for long. Congress has never liked Gujarat, has always preferred to see it lag behind."
"Does any Congress leader talk about Kamraj, Acharya Kripalani, Subhas Babu, UN Dhebar (who belonged to Gujarat)...no because they only talk about one family," he said.
PM Narendra Modi, who endorsed the Gujarat development during the Lok Sabha elections, has kicked off the political campaign for BJP in his home state today. At a rally in Bhuj, he said, "I have the good fortune of knowing every part of Gujarat well."
"I am grateful for all the kichad
(muck) being thrown at me, after all, a lotus blooms only in kichad.
So, I don't mind if more is thrown at me," PM Narendra Modi said at Bhuj rally today, ANI reported.
Ahead of the rally in Bhuj, PM Modi said "interacting with people" gives him "unparalleled joy." PM Modi is set to address a series of rallies in Gujarat for upcoming assembly elections in his home state. He served Gujarat as chief minister for 13 years.
As he visited the Ashapura Mata temple in Kutch, PM Modi interacted with locals today. "Kutch has overwhelmed me with affection. It is indeed special to be here," PM Modi tweeted from his official handle.
PM Narendra Modi has arrived in Bhuj to address a public gathering.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at Ashapura Mata temple in Kutch this morning as he arrived in his home state Gujarat today for campaigning ahead of assembly elections, ANI reported.
PM Modi arrives in Gujarat a day after BJP held a statewide "Mann Ki Baat Chai Ke Saath" program as senior party leaders including BJP National President Amit Shah bonded with people over tea.
Apart from PM Modi, several star campaigners of BJP would be addressing rallies in poll-bound Gujarat including Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. Chief ministers of BJP-ruled states - Yogi Adityanath and Vasundhara Raje - will also campaign in Gujarat.
Bhuj in Kutch district is a BJP stronghold that also has 33 per cent Muslim voters.
Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: PM Narendra Modi To Hold Election Rallies In Gujarat Today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address eight rallies today and on Wednesday in different parts of Saurashtra and south Gujarat, where polling for the first phase of assembly polls will be held on December 9. This morning, PM Modi will address people in Bhuj town of Kutch district, and later in the day in Jasdan town of Rajkot, Dhari in Amreli and Kamrej in Surat district, Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav told a press conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
PM Narendra Modi will address his first rally in Kutch district's Bhuj at 9 am.
PM Modi to visit 'Mata no Madh' in Kutch
On reaching Gujarat today, PM Modi said he will first go to 'Mata no Madh' in Kutch and seek the blessings of Ashapura Mata.
Will take Gujarat to new heights of growth: PM Modi
In another tweet, Prime Minister Narendra said that guided by the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' "we are committed to taking Gujarat to even new heights of growth and building on the good work done in the last two decades in the state".
Kutch district is close to my heart, says PM Narendra Modi
In a tweet last night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Kutch district is close to his heart. "Its spirit of resilience after the 2001 quake was seen by the world. Since then, Kutch has seen record progress, which has benefitted all sections of society," PM Modi said.