In Maninagar, CM sets his campaign tone

Narendra Modi

Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening held a New Year get-together in his constituency of Maninagar where he set the tone for his aggressive election campaign across the state in the run-up to Assembly polls.

"You work in Maninagar for the victory of one candidate here and I will work for victory of the remaining 181 seats... Let us see who wins this race of victory margins," he told an ecstatic crowd of around 2,000 party workers and supporters in Isanpur area of southern Ahmedabad, indicating he could seek re-election from Maninagar. "You all know better than me how to win an election," he told them.

In 2007, Modi had won Maninagar by around 75,000 votes, defeating Dinsha Patel of Congress.

In his hour-long speech, Modi mocked the Congress asking it to show some "self-respect". "Do you see anyone coming back again after being turned away for five times? The thick-skinned Congress leaders keep coming back for votes," he said.

Accusing the Congress of looting the country, the chief minister said: "They are now eying Gujarat because of its wealth and prosperity. Though they cannot follow us (in development politics), they have at least learned to utter 'six crore' from us."

Modi also lashed out at the Congress for calling him names. "Congress has created a dirty tricks department whose main work is to indulge in character assassination, publish dirty literature about opponents and spread dirt during elections," he alleged.

"Congress has allotted budget running into crores to this department, which is part of a conspiracy to blacken democracy. This might give them some sadistic pleasure but it will tarnish the democratic tradition of Gujarat," Modi said.

"They were boasting about overthrowing my government by using Article 356 (President's Rule). What happened to it? I am standing right here, my government is here. They just want to crush Gujarat," Modi said.

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