New Delhi: In an apparent swipe at Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress leader walked with a woman who tried everything to derail the Narmada Project. Earlier on Saturday, during the Maharashtra leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi was joined by activist Medha Patkar who spearheaded the Narmada Bachao Aandolan to prevent the displacement of locals due to the water of the Dam.
In his address at a rally in Gujarat`s Dhoraji today, the Prime Minister said without naming Rahul Gandhi, “You would have seen a picture published in the newspaper yesterday of a Congress leader standing with those who oppose the Narmada Project. You should ask them with what face are they coming to seek votes from you. They did everything to stall the Narmada project for decades together and ensured that no money including that from World Bank was able to come over to Gujarat. They were constantly maligning the reputation of Gujarat.”
He said that the matter was taken to courts and the lady who spearheaded this movement was seen along with the Congress leader.
“This shows that you are only walking towards destroying Gujarat,” said PM Modi at the rally in Dhoraji.
“Those people who try to destroy the only water lifeline of the Kutch region are seen with Congress leaders. This shows that they are only working towards destroying Gujarat. Voters and Gujarat need to ask Congress leadership, why are they aligning with such forces.”
Several leaders of the BJP termed this move of Congress as anti-Gujarat. BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Ministers Anurag Singh Thakur and Purushottam Rupala have earlier hit out at the Congress over the same issue.
A dream of the Iron Man Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, a concrete gravity dam built on the Narmada river was laid by India`s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. After years of legal hurdles, the 1,210 metres long dam was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in 2017.
The state of Gujarat which has 182 assembly constituencies will go for polling in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will occur on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh`s result date.
Gujarat where the ruling party which has been in power for over 27 years will be seeking its seventh term in office. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been Gujarat`s longest-serving chief minister from 2001 till 2014. The state has been a BJP stronghold for a long period and the party has set its sight on returning to power with a handsome majority this time as well.
However, it faces a stiff electoral challenge from the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has named Isudan Gadhvi as its chief ministerial candidate. Congress is also hoping to put its best electoral foot forward to unseat the BJP government.