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BJP invokes `Gujarati pride` to win voters in Gujarat

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 00:27

Ahmedabad: Aiming to win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, BJP has come up with an advertisement campaign which invokes "Gujarati pride", while urging the electorate to vote for the party and make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of the country.

Several advertisements which have started appearing in print as well as television medium are urging people to vote for BJP by invoking their Gujarati identity.

Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat will be held on April 30.

One print advertisement carries Modi`s picture, bigger than that of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and also displays his proposed pet project - the `Statue of Unity`.

"The ideals of Gandhi and Sardar will exist, only if a Gujarati wins," the advertisement says.

In one of the TV advertisements, Modi reminds the people of Gujarat to take pride in bringing `surajya` (good governance).

"In the movement for `swarajya` (self-rule), we could have not moved a step further had Gandhi and Sardar been not there. If we as Gujaratis can take pride for their initiatives in self-rule movement, now there is a movement for good governance and fortunately it has been initiated from this land of Gujarat," Modi says in the advertisement.

He further makes an appeal to the people of Gujarat to take pride in choosing him for the country`s top post.

"I am fortunate that you people gave me a lot. Now it is my turn to give you something. Don`t miss the chance to cast your vote on April 30. Don`t forget to go to the poll booth and press the `Lotus` button," Modi says.

"Do not miss the chance to change the fate of this country," Modi said in the TV ad which ends with party`s much famous slogan "Ab ki baar Modi sarkar" (This time, Modi government).

BJP declared that these advertisements are part of their poll campaign, even as Congress termed it an attempt to divide the people to garner votes.

"Every advertisement is part of our election campaign and we have designed campaign to revoke pride of Gujarat as we have displayed pictures of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi also," BJP`s state vice president I K Jadeja told.
Jadeja further added that their campaign was aimed at winning all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat.

Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi compared the campaign with the "RSS style of canvassing that reflected divisive politics".

"Narendra Modi is the biggest model of RSS. The advertisements which have recently surfaced in the media only aim to indulge in divisive politics on the basis of caste, community, religion or region," Doshi told.

Social scientist Gaurang Jani said he saw the advertisements as Modi`s self projection to translate public sentiments into electoral votes.

Talking about the timing of this campaign, Jani said, "Elections are to be held in Gujarat in the near future (April 30) and Modi suddenly remembers Gujarati pride. Had Modi invoked the issue earlier, then there could have problems with parties sharing similar ideologies, like Shiv Sena and MNS.

Even TMC chief Mamata Banerjee could have used this to target him. He could have been termed as narrow-minded."

First Published: Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 00:27

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