Narendra Modi on Friday filed his nomination papers from Maninagar for the Assembly elections, even as the Congress put up Shweta Bhatt, wife of the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, to take on the Gujarat Chief Minister.
He submitted the papers to the Returning Officer, P.K. Jadeja, at the Collector’s office here on the last day for filing of nominations.
Addressing party workers at Maninagar before filing his papers, Mr. Modi, without mentioning any name, said the Congress had done a backroom deal with the Gujarat Parivartan Party of Keshubhai Patel, by not fielding any candidate in Visavadar, from where the former Chief Minister is contesting. “They do not have the guts to say they have an understanding with some other party and that they have made some arrangements behind the scene.”
The Congress candidate for Visavadar, Ratibhai Mangroliya, had claimed that his mandate — the document certifying that he officially represents the party — was allegedly “stolen” by a 12-year-old while he was on his way to file his papers.
“Congress workers were shedding tears that their mandate was stolen by a 12-year-old boy at Visavadar. The 12-year-old boy knew what is good for Gujarat,” Mr. Modi said, ridiculing the Congress’s claim.
“Why are they not declaring that they have decided to make Ahmed Patel the Chief Minister. Why all these games behind the scenes. They should declare all these things,” Mr. Modi said, targeting the political secretary of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the alleged backroom deals.
Mr. Modi, who seeks a fourth consecutive term, said the Congress, was “spreading lies” about Gujarat by issuing wrong advertisements. “Congress leaders are editing speeches of their senior national leaders so as not to give Modi a chance to attack the party.” “When you speak from your heart, you don’t need to write speeches. The Congress is busy spreading lies about Gujarat’s development through advertisements,” he said.
Stating that the Assembly elections would be fought on the plank of development, Mr. Modi said the BJP government had taken Gujarat to newer heights, and its development-oriented politics would triumph. “The Congress has spent crores of rupees on campaigning, which it has earned through scams. But the Congress has failed to understand that Gujaratis can’t be bought.”
Claiming that the poll outcome would be “historic,” he said the Congress survived on vote-bank politics, and it should tell the people of Gujarat what it did for the country. The Centre was afraid that the BJP’s thrust on development would translate into votes, so it was not giving sanction for projects in the State on time.