PM Modi dares Congress to contest Gujarat polls on development plank

Aaron Brown
October 19, 2017

In a morning tweet in Hindi, Mr Gandhi issued a "weather report" ahead of the PM's Gujarat visit, saying: "Weather report: Ahead of elections, Gujarat will today have rain of rhetoric", using the Hindi phrase jumlon ki baarish.

What was billed as a huge show of strength for the BJP turned out to be a disappointing exercise as the venue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega rally in Ahmedabad remained empty and people were seen leaving even as he spoke on Monday.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, BJP national president Amit Shah and several other leaders of the party were also present at the event. Hardik Patel, the quota stir spearhead, had welcomed Rahul Gandhi on a recent visit to Gujarat. While addressing BJP workers in Gandhinagar, Modi said, "Gujarat polls are around the corner and the Congress has developed fever once again". The BJP has maximum number of MPs having agriculture background, he added. The march covered a distance of around 4,471 kilometres, spread over 149 of the 182 Assembly constituencies in the state, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said. "History is witness to what they did to Sardar Patel and Morarji Desai", he accused.

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The Prime Minister also slammed the opposition party for "misguiding" the country on GST, and clarified that the tax rates are fixed by a panel comprising ministers of all the states, including those ruled by the Congress.

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Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with his counterparts from states - together, they comprise the GST Council -and revised rates on a range of items. "Tax-related issues are not decided by me or the central government".

On demonetisation, another issue being aggressively raised by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, Modi said, "I have read that the Congress is going to observe November 8 as "black day".

Modi, switching over from Hindi to Gujarati in his home turf, said that the decision to implement the reform (the GST) was not his alone, but of almost 30 parties, especially the Congress, that were consulted and involved with the new tax regime.

He said that he understands all the contributions and the struggles made by all the workers of the Gujarat Bharatiya Janata party.

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