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On Gujarat poll eve, BJP MP quits over farmers' issues

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP's Gujarat model was a model to deceive people

Archis Mohan & PTI  |  New Delhi/Ahmedabad 

Gujarat Polls 2017, Narendra Modi, Gujarat Assembly elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi garlanded by BJP workers during a rally for the Gujarat elections in Gandhinagar on Friday | Photo: PTI

(BJP) Member of Parliament resigned from the Lok Sabha and the party on Friday, on the eve of the first phase of the that was marked by spirited speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice-President In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Patole listed 14 issues related to agriculture, economy and unemployment. Patole, who had defeated Nationalist Party leader Praful Patel from Maharashtra’s Bhandara-Gondiya seat in 2014, said he had flagged issues related to farm distress on several occasions with the PM, but was ignored. Patole said he would be sharing the dais with at a Congress’ public rally on December 11. On Saturday, 89 of the 182 seats will vote. The polling for the rest is on Thursday. Votes will be counted on December 18. The released its manifesto for the polls. Among other things, it promised doubling farmers’ incomes and a resolve to herald a new Gujarat. In another development, Dinesh Bambhaniya, a key aide of Patidar leader Hardik Patel, quit the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti. He is the third leader of the outfit to have quit in recent months. Chirag Patel, another key leader, had recently joined the In public meetings on Friday, the PM persisted with attacking the for insulting him and Gujaratis.

A day after the suspended its leader Mani Shankar for his comments on the PM, Modi said: “They have not called me ‘neech’ for the first time yesterday. Sonia Gandhi and her family have used it too. Why am I ‘neech’, because I was born poor, because I am of a lower caste, because I am a Gujarati? Is that why they hate me?” The PM alleged had given a “supari” while on a visit to Pakistan to get him eliminated and the video was available on social media. In his public meeting, the vice-president demanded to know why allegations against chief Amit Shah’s son were not being probed. At a poll rally in Chhota Udepur in the morning, said the was yet to release its manifesto and the party had no vision for the future of Gujarat. Rahul said he would not imitate leaders who “abuse” him, and asserted that he would fight over issues that affected the people. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP’s Gujarat model was a model to deceive people. Campaigning in Gujarat for his party’s candidates, Yadav said his party was supporting the and its allies. He said his party was of the view that electronic voting machines (EVMs) needed to be phased out. “The Election Commission has accepted that the EVM can be defective... If it can be mended, it can also be tampered with. At many places, you click on a button, and the vote will go to the BJP,” he said. A day after being suspended from the Congress, said he would accept any punishment if the party suffers damage in the due to his “neech aadmi” remark against the PM.

First Published: Sat, December 09 2017. 02:42 IST
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