AHMEDABAD: Asking the Congress to shun its “divide and rule” strategy in its effort to win back the trust of the people of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said Gujaratis have rejected the Congress because the state had “suffered a lot due to the party’s policy of inciting people of one region or community against another”. Addressing an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat, Mr Modi, the ruling BJP’s poll mascot, once again targeted the Congress over the participation of Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar in Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra”, saying the Opposition party must shun its “divide and rule” strategy to win back the trust of the people of Gujarat.
Mr Modi, who was addressing the poll rally in Palitana town of Bhavnagar district, said: “The people of Gujarat are not ready to help those who support elements wanting to break India.” During his earlier campaign rallies in Gujarat, the PM had also targeted Mr Gandhi for walking with Medha Patkar during the yatra.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8. Tuesday, November 29, will be the last day of campaigning for the first phase on December 1.
Further targeting the Opposition party, the PM said: “The Congress’ ideology is to divide and rule. Before Gujarat became a separate state, it (Congress) made Gujaratis and Marathis fight against each other. Later, the Congress incited people of different castes and communities to fight against each other. Gujarat suffered a lot because of such sins of the Congress.”
He added that the “smart people” of Gujarat understood this strategy of the Congress and came together to show the door to such “divisive forces”. The situation changed after the BJP came to power, he said, adding that Gujarat has been on the path of development for the last 20 years.
“The Congress is losing because the people of Gujarat have shown unity. The Congress must shun casteism, communalism, vote bank politics and divide and rule (ideology) to win back the trust of people of Gujarat, because they are not at all ready to help those who support elements wanting to break India,” the PM said.