ALSO READVote for BJP, save Gujarat from casteism: Modi's written message to voters Gujarat election 2017 date declared: How Modi used delay to keep BJP ahead Rahul Gandhi thanks BJP, says its 2014 defeat of Congress taught him a lot Economy is moving in right direction; important decisions will continue: PM Rahul in Gujarat: Cong scion leaks Twitter strategy, says BJP pays media
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is like a "jadugar", or magician, who has been "performing tricks" on the people of Gujarat and the country, as he visited Patidar strongholds in north Gujarat that saw huge crowds greet and listen to him.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) Vice-President was on the last and fourth leg of his three-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat. He concluded his Gujarat tour by visiting the BJP bastion and the home of Patidar agitations of Mehsana and Visnagar later on Monday.
Earlier, talking to the media he said just like magicians perform tricks which are mere tricks and not real, similarly Prime Minister Modi has been perfoming tricks in Gujarat on the people.
On Monday, he began his tour of north Gujarat by visiting the Veer Meghmaya temple and had 'darshan' there. After that, he interacted with Dalit leaders of Patan. The Gandhi scion continued his attacks on Prime Minister Modi and lambasted the central government on various fronts like demonetisation, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), unemployment and corruption.
He was warmly greeted by villagers on his visit to Kungher village in Patan district. He even mingled with the local children and offered them sweets. Later, he visited the native village of a BJP Cabinet Minister in Gujarat, Dilip Thakore, in Harij. People turned up in huge numbers to greet the Congress leader, who broke the security barricades to meet them.
In Harij, he also became part of a magician's performance. Gandhi remarked, "Jadugars (magicians) have been earning money through tricks and Modiji too has been doing the same in 22 years."
While interacting with the denotified tribes and their leaders, Gandhi said that the Congress will prepare their poll manifesto after consulting the Gujarati people. "Unlike others who just make people listen to their 'Mann ki Baat', the Congress will listen to other's 'Mann ki Baat'," reiterated Gandhi.
At a public meeting in Varana in Patan, Gandhi said, "In Gujarat, there are five to 10 industrialists who are not agitating, whereas all others are doing 'andolan' (agitations)." Before his public address, he visited the temple of Goddess Khodiyar in Varana. He also offered a 'Chundadi' and 'Prasad' to the deity.
In the evening, he addressed a large gathering in Mehsana, the hometown of Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitin Patel, and also the district of the hometown Vadnagar of Modi. Mansa, the hometown of the BJP national president Amit Shah, is also located in north Gujarat.
The meeting is much-awaited as it is the epicentre of the Patidar agitation. Another significant place of Patidar agitation is Visnagar, where Gandhi will be concluding his Gujarat visit. Political pundits are waiting to see the turnout at the Mehsana meeting, as Patidar groups are going to finalise their support to the Congress after their consultation meetings, which are currently in progress.