Ahmedabad, Dec 23 (UNI) Those running the administration in Gujarat were ''merchants of fear and death''. This one controversial remark by Congress President Sonia Gandhi during an election rally on December one may have changed the electoral scene in Gujarat and cost her party heavily, poll analysts say.
Until then, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was harping on what all his government had done for the people of the state on the development front. Somehow, the BJP cadre was feeling that the plank of development was not cutting much ice with the people of the state, highly polarised on communal lines.
Two days after Ms Gandhi's controversial remark, the Chief Minister returned to his pet 'Hindutva' card by justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in an alleged police fake encounter.
hus the campaigning, which hitherto was being dominated by developmental issues, acquired communal colour with sharp exchanges between the Congress President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the one side and Mr Modi on the other.
Addressing an election meeting on December 3, Mr Modi said the Congress President had hurt the pride of Gujaratis by describing the state government as the ''merchants of fear and death''. And his words seemed to have certainly made the difference as can be seen the resounding victory the BJP has achieved in the state assembly lections.