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Modi's Gujarat innings comes to an end

Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel has been confirmed as Modi's replacement

BS Reporters  |  Ahmedabad 

Prime Minister-elect on Wednesday brought the curtains down on his 12-year reign as chief minister.

A day after being invited by the President to be the next prime minister, Modi tendered his as chief minister to Governor Kamala Beniwal at Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar. His Cabinet ministers also tendered their resignations.

The new chief minister will have a new Cabinet; the swearing in ceremony is scheduled on Thursday.

Modi’s came after an emotional farewell at a special session held at the State Legislative Assembly at Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar. As he entered the decorated hall, the prime minister-elect was greeted by the leader of opposition, Congress’ Shankersinh Vaghela, with a scarf. They hugged and shared a light moment.

In his farewell speech, Modi attributed his success to the people. “It is not because of me that development happened. Even after Modi, development will continue, at double the pace. Individual-based systems do not survive for long. We need to institutionalise ideas and create systems, so that no matter who comes and goes, work continues. The position I will be holding is a big responsibility. One thing is certain, the nation is facing a lot of problems. But the fact is that the solutions to these problems are also available within the nation — in the youth and the people,” he said.

Sarcasm and humour, too, marked the special session of the Gujarat Assembly. Taking a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto, Vaghela called for building of the Ram temple (in Ayodhya) and the release of funds to Gujarat. “You have been saying that the Centre hasn’t done enough for Gujarat. Now you will be at the Centre. You can now release as much funds as possible. Now that you have a majority, go and build the Ram temple within the limits of the Constitution. You have said you will give employment. Now give jobs to as many youth as possible,” said Vaghela, who also listed out issues that Modi had raised in the Assembly — inflation, royalty on energy and issues related to fertilisers, gas, coal and taxes, among others.

On the so-far denied US visa to Modi, Vaghela said: “Obama will now face trouble. He will have to give a visa to the new prime minister of India.”

Modi replied in kind in his farewell speech to the Assembly: “You may now say that the PM of India used to ride on his (Vaghela’s) bike and that we travelled to every district on his bike.”

The prime minister-elect further joked about Gujarati being spoken in the Prime Minister’s Office and how Gujarati delicacies would be served there. Thanking the members of the Assembly for their support, Modi said he trusted the people of Gujarat to take the state forward. He said reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General should not be misused and used as a political weapon.

Modi’s aide Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nitin Patel, among others, praised the prime minister-elect, while bidding him adieu.

Adani absent from farewell

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s farewell session in the Gujarat Assembly was attended by some big names of India Inc.

Tulsi Tanti of Suzlon, B K Goenka (Welspun Group), Karsanbhai Patel (Nirma), Pankaj Patel of Zydus Cadila, Sudhir Mehta of Torrent Group, Sanjay Lalbhai of Arvind Ltd, Piruz Khambatta of Rasna, Rajiv Modi of Cadila Pharma, Chintan Parikh of Ashima Group and Parimal Nathwani of Reliance Industries attended. Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, was conspicuous by his absence.

First Published: Thu, May 22 2014. 00:29 IST