Gujarat 2017

PM Modi invokes son-of-the-soil sentiment

Narendra Modi speaks at a rally at Jasdan in Gujarat on Monday.  

Launching his campaign for the crucial Assembly elections in his home State of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday invoked the son-of-the-soil sentiment and Gujarat’s pride and said the people would give a “befitting reply to those raising questions on Gujarat and its son.”

“This Gujarat son has no stains in his public life. You come to the State and level baseless allegations against the son of the soil, but people of the State will not forgive you,” he said. “The Congress had treated Sardar Patel similarly.” 

Mr. Modi started his campaign from Bhuj in Kutch where he visited the famous temple of Mata No Madh before addressing a rally. In the four rallies he addressed in Bhuj, Jasdan, Dhari and Kadodara in Surat, he said the Opposition Congress had an “anti-Gujarat mindset.” 

‘Congress hates Gujaratis’

“They speak about Sardar Patel but the diary of Maniben Patel revealed how he was treated. Then, Morarji Desai, another son of Gujarat and Gandhian, was removed from the Cabinet by Indiraji. The fact is the Congress hates Gujaratis,” Mr. Modi said. Pitching the elections as a battle between development and dynasty, Mr. Modi said the Congress had never bothered about the welfare of people and only cared for one family, and all other important leaders of the party were relegated. 

“They dislike me because of my humble origins. Can a party stoop so low? Yes, a person belonging to a poor family has become Prime Minister. They do not fail to hide their contempt for this fact. Yes, I sold tea but I did not sell the nation,” he said.

In a message to the Patidars, who are on the warpath with the BJP over quota, Mr. Modi talked about how the Congress hatched conspiracies to dislodge Patidar Chief Ministers. 

“When Keshubhai Patel, a son of Saurashtra, became the Chief Minister, the Congress tried everything to dislodge him. The same disruptive tactic was used when Anandiben, a daughter of the Patidar community, became Chief Minister,” he said in Saurashtra, where the Patidars are upset with the ruling BJP over reservation.

Mr. Modi also took on the Opposition party over the Doklam standoff with China, the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and the surgical strike carried out by the Army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

“You are happy to hug the Chinese Ambassador when Indian jawans were engaged in a face-off with China in Dokalam. You are clapping at the release of Hafiz Saeed, but you cannot respect the Army’s surgical strike,” he said. He was referring to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese Ambassador and his jibe over the release of Hafiz Saeed in a tweet that Mr. Modi’s ‘hugplomacy’ failed as Saeed was released and U.S. President Trump delinked Pakistan funding from the LeT.


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 9:22:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/gujarat-2017/gujarat-elections-a-contest-between-trust-on-development-and-dynastic-politics-narendra-modi/article20957429.ece

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