Prime Minister Narendra Modi today undertook a marathon 50-km roadshow in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on Thursday, an attempt seen as the former three-time CM of the state to strike a chord with the electorate. The roadshow, which began from Naroda Gam seat shortly after 5 PM, will cover 16 assembly constituencies over three hours before concluding at the Gandhinagar South.
The BJP has been locked in a triangular fight with Congress and newcomers Aam Aadmi Party. PM Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah both hail from Gujarat and have repeatedly used the ‘son-of-the-soil’ card to strike an emotional connect with voters.
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In the roadshow being dubbed as the longest ever, the Prime Minister’s route covered 16 constituencies including Thakkarbapanagar, Bapunagar, Nikol, Amraiwadi, Maninagar, Danilimbda, Jamalpur Khadia, Elisbridge, Vejalpur, Ghatlodia, Naranpur and Sabarmati constituencies. The PM also made several stops along the way and paid tributes at the memorials of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The roadshow came two days before campaigning ends for the second phase of elections in Gujarat where polling is due on December 5. Ahead of the roadshow, the Prime Minister held rallies in Kalol of Panchmahals, Bodeli of Chhotaudepur and Himmatnagar of Sabarkantha district as part of his whirlwind campaign across the state.
The Prime Minister used this opportunity to invoke Gujarati pride and countered the remarks by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge where he referred to the Prime Minister as ‘Ravan’. “Are you 100-headed like Ravan,” he had said addressing a rally in Gujarat on Monday.
Responding to the remarks, PM Modi said Congress leaders were competing against each other to abuse him. “There is a competition among Congress leaders as to who will use the most abusive words for Modi.”
“Those who never believed in the existence of Lord Ram have now brought in (demon king) ‘Ravan’ from Ramayana. And, I am surprised they never expressed repentance, forget about tendering an apology, after using such cuss words for me,” the Prime Minister said.
Results of elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly are scheduled to be declared on December 8. In the 2017 elections, the BJP had bagged 99 seats while the Congress won 77.