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Under attack over the Gujarat model of development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took a swipe at the Congress over economic progress under its governments, saying for them it meant installing a hand pump and asking for votes in return. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to his poll-bound home state for launching and inaugurating a slew of projects, said there is no substitute for development. "The definition of development has changed. Earlier, leaders used to install a hand pump and ask for vote in its name for three elections," Modi said without naming the Congress. The prime minister was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone for a greenfield airport at Hirasar near temple town of Chotila in Surendranagar district. "There is no substitute for development. Everybody, even a very poor person, wants development.
If you ask any poor person if he wants a house, he would say yes. You cannot give houses to the poor without development," Modi said. He was apparently alluding to the campaign mounted by the Congress and other opposition parties, especially on social media, rubbishing the Gujarat model of developmnent under the BJP rule. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had recently castigated the Modi government over the Gujarat model of development, saying "vikas (development) has gone mad", during his recent three-day campaign visit to the state. "Did you ever think that Chotila would have an airport? Did people of Surendranagar ever think that an airport will be built here?" Modi asked the gathering. "Should an airport be built here, will you people like it? Once airport is built, planes will fly from here. Is it not development?" Modi asked, and the crowd responded with a resounding "yes" . The state unit of the BJP has decided to take on the Congress' aggressive 'development has gone mad' campaign with its slogan of 'I am development'. Apart from launching the airport project, Modi also laid the foundation stone for six-laning of 201 km Ahmedabad- Rajkot section of National Highway 47. The project will cost Rs 2,893 crore. He also dedicated a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant and a drinking water pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar.
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