Amit Shah sets target of 150-plus seats for BJP
Addressing a mega rally, the ‘Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan’ organised by BJP’s Gujarat unit at Bhat near Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress, challenging it to contest election on the issue of development rather than caste or community.
Party chief Amit Shah and top state leaders were on stage with the Prime Minister. Today’s event marked the end of Gujarat Gaurav Yatra (March of Honour) which BJP began on October 1.
With Gujarat election schedule yet to be declared for model code of conduct to come into force, the ‘yatra’ and today’s rally were technically not ‘election rally’ and the BJP has been putting to good use the extra time till poll dates are notified. On October 22, Modi will also inaugurate his ‘dream project’, the Ghogha-Dahej Ro Ro ferry service from Bhavnagar.
This is the Prime Minister’s fourth visit to Gujarat in a month and the eighth this year, during which he made a slew of announcements and attended a series of foundation-stone laying ceremonies of ambitious projects.
Gujarat is due for Assembly elections by the end of this year.
PM Modi began his speech by thanking the huge gathering, saying, “I am honoured to receive your blessings.”
Launching a direct attack on the Congress leadership, Modi said that the Nehru-Gandhi family dislikes Gujarat and Gujaratis. The Gujarat Assembly election is a fight between “vikasvaad” and “vanshvaad” and development politics will triumph over family rule, he said.
He said the Opposition party’s current condition was because it has lost ability to think positive. Congress has hatred against development, he said, “Jab kuch nahi chala to vikaas ko hi gaali dena shuru kar dia. Congress party ke zehan mein vikaas ke prati nafrat hai.”
“It is being driven by negative thinking,” Modi said, accusing Congress of using communalism, casteism to contest elections. He even said that the party is now focusing only on spreading lies.
“The party of which the leading family is corrupt, what kind of welfare can be expected of it,” he said. “This election is a duel between development and dynastic rule. Development is going to win and dynastic rule is going to lose,” he added.
Modi accused the Congress of treating Gujarati leaders “unfairly” and named Sardar Patel and former Prime Minister Morarji Desai among the party’s victims.
Modi said “Amit Shah is the man of the match” of BJP’s electoral victories. He said nobody predicted such a humongous victory for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. When BJP came out with flying colours, political analysts told the Opposition they should stop thinking about 2019, and prepare for 2024 elections.
Addressing traders, Modi spoke on GST at length. Defending GST, Modi said that tax-related issues are not decided by him or the central government. “All states are represented there. So Congress should not spread misinformation. Congress too is a part of the decision-making process,” he said.
He said that all issues related to the GST will be resolved soon. “From day one, I’ve said we will review GST after three months and we made changes. If there are still hurdles, we will try and resolve them too. I am confident that our traders will understand,” says Modi. “I am assuring traders. This is my promise,” he added.
On black money, he said scientific analysis of black money data is on. “More than 2 lakh companies have been shut down. We are probing 5,000 of these companies. Should I leave these thieves?” Modi said.
Modi ended up his speech with chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
Speaking earlier, BJP president Amit Shah said the BJP will win more than 150 seats in Gujarat.Targeting the Congress, Shah said, “Development for Congress means ‘Mazaak’ while for the BJP, its means ‘mijaaz’.”
“Congress’ Shehzada is asking us what Vikas has been done here in Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi, your great-grandfather laid the foundation of Narmada project, but PM Modi declared it open. I’m asking you, Rahul Gandhi, why could any of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi or you not complete this project?” Shah said.
He urged the people to give 150 seats to the Bhartiya Janata Party in Gujarat: one more than the highest ever tally of 149 that the Congress party got in 1985.
The BJP has been in power in Gujarat since 1995. It had won 115 seats in the 2012 assembly elections. Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001 and held the post till he left for Delhi as Prime Minister after winning the 2014 national election.