Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying those who have been thrown out of power are taking out foot march to get back to power. Addressing a gathering in Surendranagar town of poll-bound Gujarat, Modi also said instead of talking about development during elections, the opposition Congress is saying it will show him his "aukat" (status).
"Now, the Congress does not talk about development during elections. Instead, Congress leaders are saying they will show Modi his aukat. Just look at their arrogance. They, indeed, belong to a royal family, while I am merely a servant having no aukat," he said. "In the past, the Congress had used words like 'neech aadmi', 'maut ka saudagar' and 'naali ka keeda' for me. I urge you to talk about development instead of playing this game of 'aukat'," the PM said, adding that he swallows such insults because his focus is to make India a developed nation.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. Modi said people who were dethroned long back were taking out yatra to get back the power. "Some people are doing foot march to get back to power. They are also taking along those who had stalled the Narmada project for 40 years through litigation and kept Gujarat thirsty for 40 years. In this election, the people of Gujarat will punish those who are doing this padyatra.
People will also punish those who were against the Narmada project, he said without taking any names. Modi was referring to Narmada Bachao Andolan spearhead Medha Patkar joining the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra recently.
He said there was a time when people of this region were suffering from acute water shortage. "At that time, I had vowed to improve this situation. I had said that Surendranagar district will be the biggest beneficiary of the Narmada project. And today, I stand validated because this region is getting that benefit," Modi said. In another jibe on Rahul Gandhi, the PM said leaders who are doing padyatra do not know the difference between groundnut and cottonseed crops.
Without taking names, he further said some people abuse Gujarat even after eating the "salt" manufactured in the state. Modi said though Gujarat produces 80 per cent of the country's salt, the previous Congress governments never paid attention to the issues of salt pan workers, known as 'agariyas'. The people of Surendranagar district had "made a mistake" of giving some seats to the Congress in 2017, he said, adding that the opposition MLAs did nothing good for their constituencies. PTI PJT PD VT .