Narendra Modi accuses Gandhi family of neglecting Amethi for 40 years, urges to vote for Smriti Irani

BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi arrived in Gandhi pocket borough of Amethi to campaign for BJP`s firebrand candidate Smriti Irani.

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

Amethi: BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tore into Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Amethi on Monday and said that the days of mother-son duo were over. He also exhorted the crowd to vote for BJP candidate Smriti Irani in the Gandhi family pocketborough if they wanted development in the area.

Modi made it clear to the people that he had not come for "revenge" but to seek their vote so that "change" could take place in what he called the most backward region. He also accused the Gandhi family of neglecting Amethi for the past 40 years.

Concluding his speech minutes before the campaign ended in the constituency which will witness polling on May 7, he said he has not come here to "trouble Rahul Gandhi". "He is already a troubled soul," he said.

Describing Smriti as his "younger sister" and his "representative", he said, "time has come to snap the relationship between the family and the constituency. People here have been cheated."

Campaigning for Irani he rejected the Congress vice president`s charge that he practises "politics of anger".

Hitting back at "Rahul bhaya" over his "politics of anger" charge against him, Modi said such politics was the domain of "arrogant" Congress.

In this context, he said Rajiv Gandhi, then Congress General Secretary, had once publicly "abused" and "humiliated" the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister T Anjaiah at airport. Anjaiah was the CM between 1980 and 1982.

He then raked up the unceremonious removal of Sitaram Kesri as the Congress President in 1998 as "Madam Sonia Gandhi" was angry against him and wanted to take over the reins of the party.

Modi also mentioned the treatment meted out by Sonia Gandhi to former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, saying "when he passed away, he was treated like Bahadur Shah Zafar and denied even a small piece of land for his cremation in Delhi."

At the same time, Modi raked up the Ordinance on convicted lawmakers passed by the Cabinet which Rahul had pulicly denounced as nonsense at a time when PM was visiting US.

Taking a dig at Sonia Gandhi, Modi said that he understood her worry and her pain as she wanted Rahul to settle down well. “For last 10 years, she has been trying to see that her son settles down. But when it looks like her effort is being wasted, she is feeling worried," he said.

On Sonia Gandhi`s barb that Modi has already started thinking he is a Prime Minister, the BJP leader had another swipe. "Madam Soniaji, aap ke muh mein ghee shakkar (may your words come true)."

Modi also raked up his tea vendor background saying, “Congress leaders say that if Rahul loses he will sit in Opposition but what will happen to Modi. I tell them I can go back to selling tea.”

Once again he exhorted the people to give him 60 months as again 60 years that they had given the Congress and promised that he would develop Amethi in seven months.

He added that unlike the Congress, he would come back in 2019 to give an account of what they had done if BJP wins from here.

Modi was also all praises for Irani saying that she was hard working and had exposed the Gandhi family`s claim of development in Amethi.

Before the rally Modi had tweeted:

Amethi is among the 64 constituencies that will go to polls on May 7 in the eight phase of Lok Sabha polls 2014. Today was the last day of campaigning for the phase.

Besides Smriti Irani, Aam Aadmi Party`s Kumar Vishwas is the other key challenger to Rahul Gandhi for the honours in Amethi.

While Rahul remains a favourite to retain the seat he first won in 2004, the gains made by the AAP among the Muslims and the over all sense of despondency against the performance of the UPA government has made the BJP smell a outside chance to win the prestigious seat.

The decision to bring Modi to campaign for Irani is also indicative of the line of the thought in the BJP – Gandhi bastion is vulnerable this time.
The Congress` first family has had a long association with Amethi with the party having 10 of the 12 past Lok Sabha elections. For the Gandhis, Amethi has always remained a matter of prestige and have made considerable effort to leave their imprint on the constitunecy.

Owing to the Gandhi connection, Amethi now boasts of several national highways and educational institutions like IIIT, NIFT and Footwear Design and Development Institute.

However, the Congress is taking no chances. And leading the charge is Priyanka Gandhi. She has been a campaigning aggressively for the last few days and had held a roadshow with Rahul, yesterday.

Sonia too had visited Amethi to ask the people to take care of “her son”.

The BJP is also going all out with a final push to try and dislodge the Gandhis from Amethi. Party`s UP in-charge Amith Shah and a host of other senior BJP and RSS leaders are camping here to fine-tune strategy.

While most among the common public remain uncertain over the benefits of abandoning their Gandhi connection, Rahul Gandhi has reasons to not become complacent given the high-pitched campaign by Smriti Irani and Kumar Vishwas.

With the focus set to shift to Varanasi after May 7, reports said the Congress is mulling the idea of paying back in the same coin – Rahul Gandhi to campaign against Narendra Modi?

With PTI inputs

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