Modi meets mother on b'day, BJP turns visit into poll bugle with 67 events

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Ahmedabad, Sept 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his 66th birthday with a visit to his mother, Heeraben Modi in Gandhinagar. He was accorded a grand reception in Ahmedabad on Friday night as he landed at in Gujarat for his 66th birthday on Saturday.

This is the PM's third visit in recent times to Gujarat, where Assembly elections are due next year.

Modi meets mother on his birthday

Governor OP Kohli, the entire Gujarat cabinet including the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, state BJP leaders including the newly-appointed president Jitu Vaghani and hundreds of party workers welcomed PM Modi at the airport.

After his grand reception, PM Modi thanked Gujarat BJP leaders and party workers and drove to the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar where he spent the night. Some of the party workers seemed disappointed as PM Modi did not address them.

Later, he would go to the tribal district of Dahod to inaugurate various irrigation projects.

Dahod collector Lalit Padaliya said the inauguration ceremony will be held at Limkheda town, around 25 km from the city, and the PM will also address a rally there."The Prime Minister will inaugurate Kadana-Hafeshwar irrigation project," Mr Padaliya said.

Later in the afternoon he would go to Navsari where he is scheduled to take part in a function where aid would be distributed to the differently-abled persons.

"In Navsari, PM will distribute kits and aid to 'divyang' citizens. He will also address a large gathering near Navsari town," Mr Pandya said.

BJP is facing a challenge in Gujarat ahead of next year's polls in the aftermath of Patel quota agitation and the protests of Dalit community after the Una atrocity incident.

Last month PM Modi visited his home state twice -- to condole the death of Sawminarayan sect's leader Pramukhswami Maharaj and later to inaugurate an irrigation scheme in Saruashtra region.

But Modi's birthday visit has not been all hunky-dory, at least for those that have chosen to take on him.

On Friday evening, hours before Modi landed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani was detained by the police at Ahmedabad airport. Some leaders of the dominant Patidar community, which has been fighting for a reservation quota, too, have been detained to prevent the kind of vehement opposition and chaos that BJP chief and Modi's closest aide Amit Shah faced recently in Surat.

PTI

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