Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bapa ends yatra with a bang

Amid impressive turnout at rally in Bapunagar, ex-CM vows to hoist Tricolour in Assembly on January 26.
Ending his 35-day-long Parivartan Yatra in Bapunagar, former chief minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party leader Keshubhai Patel on Wednesday said his party would win 75 per cent of Assembly seats in the upcoming elections.
While Patel called CM Narendra Modi a “number one liar”, his colleague in GPP and former minister of state for home Gordhan Zadaphia called Modi “a dramatist who, if he ever acted in a movie, would win the Babasaheb Phalke award”.
The duo were addressing a gathering of thousands at Vijay Chowk in Bapunagar, a neighbourhood in Ahmedabad populated by Patels and and diamond workers from the Saurashtra region. Many in the audience had also come from outside the city to hear Patel’s speech at the end of his 6,250-km yatra across the state’s 26 districts and eight major cities. Patel and Zadaphia addressed 87 public meetings during the yatra.
“Narendra Modi is liar number one. He promised many things but did nothing. The Narmada canal network remains incomplete by 64,000 kms, and many areas are still lacking water supply. In the last elections, Modi had said the state’s power generation capacity would increase by 20,000 Mega Watts, but only 10,000 MW has been added. Modi also promised 100 per cent electrification, but only 55 per cent has been achieved,” Patel said, citing figures from a “national survey.”
Referring to the turn-outs and responses throughout his yatra, Patel claimed he would hoist the Tricolour at the state Assembly as Chief Minister at next year’s Republic Day. He dismissed opinion polls projecting a large win for Modi as “malicious and part of the BJP’s campaign strategy”.
Zadaphia claimed in his speech that the Modi government was involved in corruption cases amounting to “more than Rs 1 lakh crore” and that he had evidence to prove it.
Zadaphia also promised other sops if GPP came to power. “We will reduce VAT on diesel and petrol. Patients with heart diseases, cancer and other major diseases will be treated free at government hospitals,” he said.
The former BJP minister also criticised the Congress, saying the party was involved in many cases of corruption. He took the names of A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi, among others, but said “Modi is the most corrupt”.
Patel and Zadaphia also took a swipe at Baba Ramdev, who landed in Gujarat a few days ago and has openly pledged support for Modi while attacking the Congress. They said Ramdev should stick to yoga and not venture into politics.
Wednesday’s rally at Bapunagar was funded by the Ahmedabad Diamond Association, which incidentally is celebrating its silver jubilee. Several veteran politicians including former CM Suresh Mehta, former MP A K Patel and former Surat mayor Fakirbhai Chauhan were seen on the stage with Patel and Zadaphia.