A pull-out by Congress, distributed with newspapers on the Republic Day in some parts of the state, features Modi's photograph, and describes him as "a master organiser and astute election strategist".
The two-page advert tries to say that Gujarat has been a progressive state from its birth, and seeks to highlight contribution of all the Chief Minsters of the state, including Modi. State assembly elections are scheduled to be held in December, and campaigning has almost begun.
With yesterday's pull-out, the opposition party seems to have committed a self-goal. The advert informs the readers that "a master organiser, his party's topmost functionary and astute election strategist Shri Narendrabhai Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat on October 7 2001". It then lists major achievements under Modi.
"He has been trying very hard to convert Gujarat into a vibrant state, he has established separate department for biotechnology, and he has also been able to raise the height of Narmada dam from 11.64 mts to 121.92 mts.
"He has been organising Vibrant Gujarat investor summit every two years," it says, also taking note of Krishi Mohatsav, Navratri Mohatsav, Kite flying festival, Rannoustav, Kakarai Carnival and drive for enrolment of students in schools, all Modi government initiatives.
This is the first time Congress has praised Modi. This is the first time Congress has praised Modi. To be sure, the advert speaks about developmental works carried out under other Chief Ministers too, including the first Chief Minister, Dr Jivraj Mehta, Chimanbhai Patel, Madhavsinh Solanki, Shankarsinh Vaghela, Keshubhai Patel and Suresh Mehta. The last two were BJP Chief Ministers.
"What we are trying to convey through this advertisement is that Gujarat's progress is not due to one person. Gujarat was a progressive state from its inception and all the Chief Ministers have given their best to the state," Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
"But, now when the present Chief Minister is trying to take the credit for development of the state, we have positively put up all the aspects in front of the people and it is for them to decide. We are going to take this advertisement campaign all over the state," Doshi added.