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Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari today cited "huge crowds" attending rallies of party vice president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat to predict a "turnaround" for the Grand Old Party in elections. Tewari also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up the campaign in his home state after seeing the response Rahul Gandhi's rallies are getting. "Modi addressed over 12 rallies in Gujarat in the last several days.
The prime minister has intensified the campaign because he is worried about the huge crowds attending the Congress vice president's rallies in various parts of the state," Tewari told reporters. He said Gandhi's rallies have raised hopes of the people of Gujarat. "Congress will make a turnaround in Gujarat this time as its electoral fortunes are going to change," the Congress spokesperson said. The Congress leader alleged that it was "unprecedented" for a prime minister to do so much canvassing for an assembly poll. He said former prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh used to address maximum 2-3 rallies in their respective states during the poll campaign. "If Modi thinks that Gujarat polls are being fought on the development plank then he should have let Chief Minister Vijay Rupani handle the campaigning. However, the fact is that Modi has realised that the people of Gujarat are not convinced about the development claims of the BJP," he alleged. Taking a dig, Tewari said the extensive campaigning by Modi gives an impression that he wanted to return to Gujarat as Chief Minister "because he is tired of ruling the NDA government at Centre". Criticising the prime minister for likening Rahul Gandhi's imminent ascension as Congress president to dynastic succession of Mughal rulers, Tewari said, "Modi should say how many times elections were held in the BJP to elect its party presidents, including Amit Shah". On likely outcome of the polls, slated for December 9 and December 14, the Congress leader said, "A change in the voting pattern in urban areas would be of immense significance in Gujarat". He said the ruling BJP is rattled by the ground reality and has started playing a communal card by projecting the troika of Vijay Rupani, Amit Shah, and Narendra Modi as "RAM". Tewari said the BJP will suffer due to demonetisation and GST rollout whereas the Congress will gain in rural Gujarat on the back of support from the Patidar community. Congress has been in political wilderness since last 22 years in Gujarat.
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