BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said Congress has already accepted defeat as the party plans to support a Third Front government at the Centre to keep him out of the race. The 63-year-old Gujarat Chief Minister was speaking to reporters after casting his vote in Gandhinagar constituency of party veteran L K Advani.
Skirting a direct reply to a question on attacks by Priyanka Gandhi on him, Modi said, "Congress has accepted defeat as it is now saying that it will support the Third Front to keep me out of race. "The Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and other senior ministers are not in the contest. Tall leaders of Congress are running away from elections," he said. "Now, some are trying to save their chair, some are trying to save themselves and some are trying to save prestige of the Congress party," he said in reply to repeated questions on Priyanka Gandhi's tirade against him and BJP.
One of the early voters, Modi cast his ballot at Nishan School polling booth in Ghatlodia area of the city. Ghatlodia Assembly seat, which is part of Ahmedabad city, falls in the Gandhinagar Assembly constituency from where Advani is contesting. Asked about the threat of a defamation suit against him by Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, Modi said he has been facing cases for the past 12 years and wished good luck to those who do not wish to fight elections in a democratic way.
"For the last 12 years I have faced cases from CBI and others. Those who do not wish to fight the elections in democratic way, good luck to them on the way they want to take," he said.
Modi said that five years time will be enough for him to turn around the fate of the country. "When I came to Gujarat, the state was devastated from earthquake in 2001. The tragedy occurred in January (2001) and I became Chief Minister in October. But in three years only, the state stood up and now the state has been chasing the path of development," he said in reply to a question on if 60 months will be enough for him.
The BJP's PM nominee has been saying in his rallies that "you have given 60 years to Congress, give me a chance for 60 months." Holding his party's lotus symbol, Modi said, "I have been understanding the trend of the election campaign and the psyche of the people. I am the only person who has campaigned throughout the entire country for the elections. That is why I can give a first-hand account. "Two things are clear. Mother-son government is going and the voters have put a strong base for the new government.
I think BJP will get more seats than it has ever been bagged by any party in the last 25 years." He further said, "Now, this voting is to strengthen the foundation of the new government. In such heat this high percentage of voting shows that the elections are for new hope, for new trust. The elections will give a strength to the country and give an opportunity to change country's fate.
Asked about personal attacks during the campaign, he said, "Even today we repeat the agenda of development and good governance. From the day one we have given this agenda and we stick to that."
Modi said, "When you go to cast your vote, do not forget Nirbhaya, do not forget unemployed youth, do not forget the farmers who committed suicide and do not forget our jawans who were beheaded by Pakistan. Do not forget the atrocities of last ten years."
Addressing the people of Gujarat, he apologised to them for not being able to give much time for campaigning in the state and urged them to vote in large numbers