In a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said those who gave election tickets to the people that opposed the Narmada dam project for years should not be allowed to step into Gujarat.
Allowing such people to set foot in the state is like committing a sin, he said.
Addressing a mega rally in Mota Varachha area of Surat city, considered to be a stronghold of Patidars, Prime Minister Modi also said he had to sit on a fast for the completion of the Narmada dam project.
"People of Surat should remember one thing. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the project, but it was stalled for 50 years. They (activists) ensured that no one in the world gave funds to Gujarat for the dam project. They (AAP) gave tickets to such people," he said.
"It is like committing a sin if we allow such people to set their foot in our state as they destroy the future of three generations," he added.
He was referring to the AAP, which had given a 2014 Lok Sabha election ticket to activist Medha Patkar, who ran a campaign against Sardar Sarovar dam. AAP's national convener Arvind Kejriwal is currently camping in Surat and the party is hopeful that it would win some seats in the city.
"Thanks to this dam we were able to provide water to the parched areas of Saurashtra and Kutch," Prime Minister Modi, who was Gujarat's chief minister between 2001 and 2014, said.
He also accused the Congress of stalling the completion of the project, and said he had to sit on a fast to when he was chief minister to raise the height of the dam.
"Congress thinks that it is not required to build infrastructure in the country, but people of Surat know the importance of infrastructure," he said.
"During the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule at the Centre, we asked for a metro rail project and an airport for Surat city, but they did not budge. After the double-engine government came, the airport in Surat is one of the busiest and metro work has started," he said.
Prime Minister Modi said double-engine governments are required for the growth of the country.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)