War of words between Rahul, Modi continues

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday continued their war of words even as Gujarat voted in the first phase of the state assembly elections.

“Do you have electricity? Do you have water? Do the youths here have jobs?” asked Gandhi while addressing a rally for the second phase of polls at Palanpur, district headquarters town of Banaskantha in north Gujarat.

Getting inked: A group of women wait in line to cast their ballot in the state assembly elections at Sanand town, about 30 km from Ahmedabad, yesterday. Pic/AFP

To Gandhi’s questions, the crowd roared a “no” in reply. “Well, I was told that Gujarat has been shining, all due to the efforts of one man,” Rahul said.

Hours later, at a rally in Siddhpur in Patan district, Modi retorted, “Don’t you get 24 hours electricity? 24 hours water? Do you need a generator?”. “No”, came the answer from the assembled crowd.

Modi then proceeded to attack Gandhi. “Rahul Gandhi, my father was not the PM. He was not even a sarpanch (village head). Still people love me,” he said.

“Rahul baba, if you come for a rally, then do your homework. I knew immediately after I landed from the helicopter what you said,” Modi said.

“Today, Rahul baba is here in Palanpur. Rahul baba, when you are on the helicopter, do see this large crowd,” he said, adding, “Rahul doesn’t know geography or history.”

The two leaders also clashed during campaigning for the first phase of elections. The first phase of voting for the assembly ended yesterday. It covered the regions of Saurashtra and south Gujarat. In the next phase on December 17, the regions of Kutch, north and central Gujarat will vote.

End of Round 1
Voting ended peacefully in the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections with no untoward incident being reported. Millions voted through the day in 87 of the 182 assembly constituencies in the state. The elections see Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has ruled the state since 2001, making another bid for power against a disparate opposition. 

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