New Delhi: Officially kick-starting his campaign for a third-straight term, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday challenged the Congress to battle it out on the issue of development and not by using the CBI to target him.
Addressing a rally at Becharaji temple town in Mehsana, before embarking on a state-wide yatra, Modi said, “We need to awaken with our dreams and move forward. Gujarat wants peace, prosperity.”
“Leaders of the Congress party have declared that they will oppose me wherever I will go….this is democracy and it is election time and have they lost patience that they can’t hear someone….do you want that Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister be opposed when they come (for campaigning)?” he said attacking the Congress.
“Why practice politics of opposition? I have the right to express my thoughts, you (Congress) also have the right do so, my government can even provide you with all the help that you need for the same,” Modi quipped.
Accusing the Congress of funding the election with money illegally earned through corruption, Modi said, “I wonder how we can tackle them…my treasurer said I can’t without 2G or blackening my hand in with coal.”
“They have abused me, called me names…Congress is not fighting alone in Gujarat, Congress will fight with the CBI, new SITs are set up to corner Modi…come let’s fight over development, I don’t want to fight over lies,” he added slamming the Congress.
He also demanded that there be a Supreme Court monitored SIT into coal allocation and challenged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to face the probe.
Modi also accused the Congress party of misusing constitutional bodies and alleged that the CBI, which is hand-in-glove with the Congress, was being used to target him.
BJP’s national leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh and many top functionaries of Gujarat BJP were present on the occasion.
Interestingly, Modi has named the yatra as ‘Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra’ as it begins on the day when spiritual leader Swami Vivekanada made his historic speech at the Chicago Conference of World Religions, 150 years ago.
Becharji has been chosen as the starting pint of the yatra as Maruti will construct its new car plant near the temple town.
Also, Modi will move in the same rath which was used by senior party leader LK Advani during last year`s jan chetna yatra.
This is the first major election campaigning exercise being carried out by Modi ahead of elections to be held by the end of this year, after the state`s Congress opposition organised four major yatras.
Earlier, Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Keshubhai Patel had criticised Modi for using Swami Vivekananda`s name for political gains.