Modi's rath rolls out in Central Gujarat

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Ahmedabad, Dec 7 (UNI) Taking a dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said she was trying to stir the sympathy of the poor for her party but refrained from talking about rising prices and high costs of living.

Beginning his election tour of central Gujarat from the pilgrimage centre of Phagvel in Katlal taluka of Kheda district, Mr Modi said Ms Gandhi was stirring sympathy because the Congress had failed to rein in inflation. The sufferer is the common man, he said.

After hoisting a flag atop a temple there and participating in a ''havan'', Mr Modi proceeded to Sevalia, Dakor and Balasinhor in his ''Jeetega Gujarat'' rath. He later addressed half a dozen meetings at Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.

''This time, the contest is not between different political parties. It is the 5.5 crore people themselves who are contesting to shape their destiny for a better future,'' Mr Modi told the electorate.

To help the chariot of progress roll forward, it is the duty of the people to defeat all anti-Gujarat forces, he said.

''Today, I am facing the people and giving an account of my five-years of rule. In the last five years, I never had a vacation of even one hour,'' Mr Modi said.

He called upon the people to weigh his achievements of the last five years with the Congress' developmental record of 45 years.

''In the past, many allegations were levelled against several governments which ruled this state. Yet my government has been free from any blemishes so far,'' he said, adding, ''I have been sitting as a chowkidar for the Gandhinagar treasury and no one has dared to touch the treasury. This is why the Congress sees me as an impediment.

''Whatever funds are there for public welfare, I have been utilising them for the common good. Anyone can see in the whole of Gujarat that there is some developmental activity going on everywhere -- a road being laid, a house being constructed or a hospital coming up,'' Mr Modi said.

He warned those who wanted to bring unstability in the state through violence. Gujarat never interferes with anyone. No one should take the liberty to spread fear or terror here, he said.

He said in the Congress, it was the ''dynasty'' that got prominence. ''Ms Gandhi comes to the state and heaps abuses on the people of Gujarat. Let her know that Gujarat is the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was thrown out of a railway compartment by the white man yet the same Gandhi came back here to uproot the rule of the white man from India,'' he said.

UNI

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