Ahmedabad: Rahul Gandhi will need to remove his “Italian glasses” and wear “Gujarati glasses” to be able to see the kind of development the BJP has ensured in the state, the party’s chief Amit Shah said today in Gujarat’s Porbandar, where he launched the second part of a Gujarat Gaurav Yatra (march for honour) ahead of assembly elections at the end of the year. “The Congress is asking us what the Narendra Modi government at the centre has given Gujarat in these three years. I want to remind them that the Modi government approved an AIIMS for Gujarat, an international airport for Rajkot, approval to raise the height of the Narmada dam and allocation of homes to six lakh urban poor,” Mr Shah said, adding that the Congress vice president seemed to have missed all this.
“Rahul Gandhi can’t see it because he is wearing Italian glasses. To be able to see the development, he needs to remove those spectacles and wear Gujarati glasses,” Mr Shah said, a potshot at the Italian origins of Mr Gandhi’s mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
For the key assembly elections, the Congress — which hopes to leverage any anti-incumbency sentiment against the BJP, which has ruled Gujarat for two decades straight — has designed its attack around development, coining the slogan “Vikas Gando Thayu Chhe or development gone crazy” as it points to potholed roads and skewed development.
The BJP has countered the Congress with its own slogan “Hu Vikas Chhu, Hu Gujarat Chhu or I am development, I am Gujarat.”
Today, Amit Shah also took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to the US, calling it a vacation. The US trip came between two visits of Mr Gandhi to Gujarat, where the Congress started its campaign considerably later than the BJP.
“The Congress is still dreaming about winning the polls. Everyone has the right to see dreams. But if you are dreaming about winning the polls, you cannot go for a vacation to the US. To win polls, you need to do some hard work. You need to remain with the people of Gujarat for their development,” said Mr Shah, who kicked off the first phase of the yatra from Karamsad yesterday.
The yatra flagged off yesterday will travel through central and north Gujarat. Today’s yatra passed through Saurashtra and south Gujarat. Both will run simultaneously and are being led by Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, respectively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose home state is Gujarat and who was the state’s chief minister for 13 years before he led the BJP to a win in the 2014 national election, will participate in the concluding ceremony of the yatra. Mr Shah has set his party a target of winning 150 of the state’s 182 seats.
(With inputs from PTI)