'Rahul Gandhi not campaigning in Gujarat to avoid blame of defeat'
Without naming him, Modi took a dig at Rahul, often termed as the future prime minister, while addressing poll rallies at 52 places, using 3D holographic projection technology.
"One of the Congress leaders from whom they have big expectations had camped in Uttar Pradesh for 12 months and people kicked that party out of the state. This 'precious' leader of the Congress has not dared to campaign here for assembly elections," Modi said.
"The leader knows the temperament of Gujarati people. He has realised that they won't be able to impress the people of Gujarat. Hence, he decided to pay merely token visits here. He doesn't want to take the responsibility of his party's defeat here," the chief minister said.
Modi also ridiculed the Congress for 'withdrawing' all photographs of Gandhi family members from its poll-related campaign material in Gujarat.
"This has happened for the first time in 60 years. Even political pundits have observed that not a single photograph of Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, Sonia, Priyanka or Rahul Gandhi has been used in Congress' election campaign advertisements," Modi said.
"Do you know why the Congress has been forced to withdraw these leaders? Let me ask: Are they believing that these faces don't bring votes for the party anymore?" he asked.
"Instead they put up pictures of a Sri Lankan boy, which is totally irrelevant and misrepresentative," he claimed, referring to to the controversy over a picture used by the Congress in its poll propaganda depicting malnutrition of children in Gujarat.
In his speech, which lasted for almost an hour, Modi appealed to audience to bring back the BJP government under his leadership, which had provided them stability.
"Because of a stable government, our state has seen exceptional development. If there was a government of 'ayaram-gayaram' in the state, you wouldn't have such development," he said.
He also appealed them on the poll plank of 'experience'.
"You know me for my work record of the past 12 years. You know my advantages and my faults. You have to decide whom you want to hand over the state -- to whom you know for the past 12 years, or to those whom you barely know," he said.
Modi criticised the Congress which had blamed him for incurring high debt during the last decade of BJP rule. "The Congress is spreading blatant lies about the Gujarat government's debt," he alleged.
"Because of the government of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, our country is under a burden of Rs 40 lakh crore of debt. When the BJP-Shiv Sena ruled Maharashtra, the debt was Rs 44,000 crore, but during the past ten years of Congress rule, that state is under a debt of Rs 2.25 lakh crore," he said.
Ahmedabad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is not campaigning in Gujarat because he does not want to take responsibility of his party's likely defeat in the Assembly polls, Chief Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.
First Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2012, 23:33