- PM Modi inaugurated a Surat hospital, built by Patidar community members
- PM has three major events in Gujarat today
- This is his eighth visit to Gujarat in the last nine months
The Prime Minister began the day by inaugurating a multi-specialty hospital in Surat built by a trust dominated by the Patidars - a powerful community that has been disenchanted with the ruling BJP in recent months and has aggressively campaigned for quota in jobs and education - led by 23-year-old Hardik Patel.
"I was in dilemma whether to speak in Hindi or Gujarati, but then, since you have done such a big job, I decided to speak in Hindi so the country knows," he said at the hospital launch.
He later inaugurated a diamond polishing unit, a cattle feed plant and an ice-cream plant. He also inaugurated a part of Rs 12,000 crore irrigation project to pump Narmada water in over 100 dams of the parched Saurashtra region.
This is PM Modi's eighth visit in nine months to the state that will vote for a new government in November. As the BJP campaigns for a fifth straight term in Gujarat, the Prime Minister's high-profile visit and an array of launches signal the party's effort to build on the momentum achieved in Uttar Pradesh and other states where it has savoured election victories recently.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister arrived to the diamond hub to huge television screens, flags, flashing lights and a 10,000-bike cavalcade. PM Modi rode an SUV, waving through its sun-roof to a crowd that lined the route from the airport to the city.
"Thank you Surat! Your affection and blessings will remain etched in my memory," he tweeted at the end of a two-hour roadshow.