Even as polling was under way in 89 Assembly constituencies in the first phase of the Gujarat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi continued their high-pitch campaigning for 93 seats that will go to the polls in the second phase on December 14.
Continuing his tirade against the Congress, the Prime Minister slammed the party for “hurling insults and abuses” at him, and invoked the son-of-the-soil sentiment, calling him a proud son of Gujarat.
After Shehzad Ponnawala, Ayodhya dispute and Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comment, Mr. Modi on Saturday picked up another theme to lambast the Congress. In his high-decibel campaign, he latched on to tweets reportedly questioning his parentage by one Salman Nizami, who he said was a Congress leader.
“He asked on Twitter who is Modi’s father and mother. Can you use such language for even our enemies? I want to tell the Congress leaders that Bharat Mata is my father and mother and I have devoted my life for service to Bharat Mata,” he said.
He said Nizami called the Indian Army rapists and even glorified Afzal Guru, who was convicted and hanged in the Parliament attack case. “Do you want Afzal in every home? Can you allow Afzals in Gujarat,” Mr. Modi asked in a rally at Lunawada in central Gujarat.
The Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP and Mr. Modi for not talking about development in his campaign speeches in his home State.
“I want to ask where development is and why you are not talking about it or the future of the people of Gujarat,” Mr Gandhi said. “The Assembly election was not about PM Modi or him or BJP or Congress.
“Modi ji used to say that the BJP will rule in Gujarat for the next 100 years. But he is not saying a single word about the future of Gujarat at his rallies. Instead, Modi ji talks about Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and so many global issues.”
“The BJP is ruling here for the past 22 years. Now you have an opportunity to elect a government which would focus on you,” Mr. Gandhi said.