Kick-starting his Parivartan Yatra here on Thursday, former chief minister Keshubhai Patel came down heavily on his successor Narendra Modi while calling for a “complete change” in the state.
“Narendra Modi is a raging bull, Nirmal Baba of Gujarat and Mr Natwarlal. He has been out to cheat people of Gujarat. To call him a 420 (the IPC section for cheating) would be an understatement. He is 840,” Patel said addressing a gathering of over 5,000 people at Virpur, a pilgrimage destination in Rajkot district.
Calling Modi a pseudo Hindu, he said “As many as 300 temples have been demolished under his rule and grasslands have been sold.”
The venue was just a few kilometres from Khodaldham Temple where the former BJP leader had started to mobilise Leuva Patels against the Modi government during the foundation ceremony of the temple in January. Today, he made it clear that his Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) considers even Congress its opponent.
“Time has come for a complete change. Neither BJP, nor Congress, this time it will be GPP,” he said.
Appealing people to “change the regime of liars”, Patel said, “Takth badlo, taj badlo; jhutho ka raj badlo... This January 26, not Modi but GPP will hoist the flag in Gujarat.”
Patel announced that if his party was voted to power, he would give free residential plots to people in rural areas, a monthly allowance of Rs 2,000 to the unemployed, free electricity in villages and construct 43 lakh urinals in rural areas.
From Virpur, his hi-tech chariot left for Junagadh district. Unlike a long convoy that follows the CM’s bus during his Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra, a few cars were part of his yatra carrying GPP leaders like general secretary and former home minister Gordhan Zadaphia, former CM Suresh Mehta and former MP A K Patel.
The month-long yatra will cover all the 182 assembly constituencies in four phases.