Gadkari, BJP CMs in tow, Narendra Modi ends 1st poll tour

Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra concludes amid 'good news' from the UK; CM makes most of it.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ended his month-long Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra with a rally here in the presence of BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Chhattisgarh and Goa counterparts Raman Singh and Monohar Parrikar.

In his speech, Modi touched upon the UK government's decision to resume ties with Gujarat that it had cut off in the wake of 2002 riots. "Even though the British government had cut diplomatic relationship with the state, Britain is the largest investor in the state today," he said.

The CM, however, accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of being biased against Gujarat. "China projects Shanghai to attract the world. Japan showcases Tokyo. Manmohan Singhji, had you believed in Gujarat as your own, you could have brought world leaders to the state," he said.

Modi claimed that despite step-motherly treatment, his government had managed to bring leaders of 120 countries together on stage at Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summits while the Central government had never been able to host leaders of 100 countries together in Delhi.

As Modi was speaking, a few members of the mostly tribal audience asked him to switch to Gujarati from Hindi, but the chief minister laughed it off. "Dear friends! I salute your love for Gujarati, but at this moment, the entire nation is listening," the CM said and continued in Hindi.

Modi, who turned up an hour late for the rally, was received by a restive crowd.

Later, speaking at the rally, Gadkari congratulated Modi and said, "We have come to know that Britain has decided to resume diplomatic relationship with Gujarat. This is the result of good governance and development in the state."

The BJP chief also defended Modi over his alleged communal image. "The English media has often asked me about Modi. As BJP president, I assure you that Narendrabhai has done injustice to none in the state," he said, adding that "secularism" was being misconstrued in the country and that the English media was wrong in attacking Modi over the issue.

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