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Gujarat assembly polls: Three's a crowd

Sunday, 9 December 2012 - 6:22pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Keshubhai Patel campaigned almost simultaneously on Friday.

16% JNNURM funds to just one seat: Sonia
The crowd that turned up to hear Sonia Gandhi at Keshod in Junagadh district on Friday consisted largely of people from the rural areas. Yet the Congress president chose to comment on the state government’s use of funds meant for urban areas under JNNURM projects.

Without naming Modi's Maninagar constituency, she said: "16% of the grants for JNNURM projects have been allotted to only one constituency. Which constituency is that? You decide. Why are other cities not getting funds for their schemes?" Sonia expressed doubts about the development claims made by the Modi government and repeated what she had said at a public meeting earlier in the day at Mandvi — that the state government had neglected Saurashtra.

"They [the state government] have been claiming that they had done the maximum development work in the last 10 years. Then why haven’t they been able to solve the problem of water shortage in Saurashtra region?” she asked.

"They are saying that they will build 50 lakh houses. Why didn't they build them earlier?" she said, referring to the Modi government’s announcement that it will build 50 lakh houses in the next five years.

She talked about how the Centre had waived farmers' debts. She alleged that Gujarat’s farmers had suffered a lot because of state’s BJP government.

CM attacks Centre, Sonia on FDI, IOA issue
Continuing his tirade against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Friday, attacked her for allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail.
Addressing a public rally at Asarwa in city, Modi said that now the retail sector would have Italian locks instead of famous Aligarh locks.

He said, “Sonia Gandhi's government has passed a proposal to allow FDI in retail. I want to warn small traders sitting here that you will not be able to sell even salt, cummin or chilly and now foreigners will be selling it.”

He said, "Your business will be forced to close down. Earlier when a shop was closed it was said there is Aligarh Lock put on the shop (for ever), now it is Italian lock. It is a lock on your entrepreneurship ability.”

Taking a swipe at the Centre for its failure to stop the IOC from suspending the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Modi said, “A group of 10-15 countries has suspended India from competing at international events which is shameful. This has happened due to Congress-led government. We want to remove this blot.”

“My government will setup sports university in the state and sports schools in every district. So that ‘Dal-rice eating Gujjus’ can participate in Olympics,” added Modi.

Modi rule benefits only industrialists: Bapa
Founder president of Gujarat Parivartan Party, Keshubhai Patel, on Friday, blamed Modi government with handing out benefits solely to industrialists in last 12 years.  He addressed several rallies during the day, including those in Rajkot and Jamnagar, and one each in Kalavad, Padadhari, Samna and Jamnagar.

Addressing the rally in Jamnagar, Patel claimed that most development work in social infrastructure had begun during his tenure. “Social infrastructure projects like water pipelines, Narmada canal network and construction of rural roads were launched during my tenure as chief minister,” said Patel. “Since then, only industrialists have gained in their wealth from the development of the state,” he added.

Patel also blamed the government for marginalising farmers and agriculture in the state. “A large number of farmers have committed suicide in last 12 years, with maximum in 2012. Only Modi government is responsible for this,” said Patel.

Speaking at a rally in Padadhari, Patel said, “Even a goat understands that a lion is seeking her help, as it is time for elections.” He narrated a story of goat and a lion while addressing women on how Modi has promised to take care of all his sisters in Gujarat.

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