“Don’t look at anything else. Look at me, my developmental work and vote for the BJP,” this is what Gujarat chief minister and BJP’s star campaigner Narendra Modi is asking people as he
embarks on the final phase of assembly election campaign.
He is not asking people to vote for the BJP candidate in the respective constituency, but is seeking a mandate for himself. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even take the name of the respective candidate in his speech. One may wonder what has stopped the CM from reciting names of his men in every constituency as he goes on a campaigning spree.
Dig deeper and you get the feeling that Modi is saving candidates from Election Commission’s (EC) wrath. The shrewd and canny politician that he is, Modi is helping candidates save their campaign fund for better use.
For record, commission’s guidelines say that if a star campaigner asks people to vote for a particular candidate, at least 50% of the expense occurred for organising the star campaigners’ speech would be added to the election expenses of the particular candidates.
After offering prayers at the famous Somnath temple, Modi addressed a gathering of nearly 5,000 people at Veraval. Attacking Congress he said, “They (Congress) will face the worst defeat in Gujarat. The entire country is being crushed under the sins committed by the Central government. Congress's misrule, corruption, inflation and neglect of the common man will result in a thumping victory (for the BJP).”
From Veraval, he travelled to Surat for more public meetings. However, he had to face the ire of Keshubhai Patel’s supports as GPP has strong presence in Katargam. Some people in the audience shouted against Modi reportedly calling him as Gaddar (traitor). They were whisked away from the venue and later a police complaint was filed against the protestors.
Unperturbed, Modi used the incident to drive home the point that some people with vested interest were out to defame him.
“I have worked continuously for Gujarat and never taken a day off. They are referring to me as monkey and mice but they should know that a monkey had set Ravan’s Lanka on fire. The rat is vehicle of Lord Ganesha and is considered highly auspicious. That is why Gujarat has not faced any severe crisis in last 12 years,” he said.