Vadodara, 30 April-2014, Kiran Tare(NIE): With polling scheduled to take place in Vadodara on Wednesday, the BJP has pulled out all the stops to ensure a massive win for its PM candidate Narendra Modi. And the saffron party has been playing up the ‘son-of-the-soilfor the PM post’ card to woo the electorate.
Saffron Brigade BJP Pulls out All Stops in Vadodara
As part of this, the party workers have been asked to spread the word that a “once-in-a-century” opportunity is awaiting the people of Gujarat to make a son-of-the-soil the country’s PM.
According to the BJP officials, the party will be able to get its traditional voters to the polling booths since it has a strong network at the booth-level. “Modiji had set up the booth-level network when he was party general secretary. We are still following the same model. We will ask our voters to vote to elect a PM and not an MP,” said Kishan Dangar, a BJP official.
Modi had said in Ahmedabad on Monday that fellow Gujarati, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had missed the PM’s post by a whisker. And the BJP has been urging the voters not to miss the opportunity this time round. Not only that, the party has set an ambitious victory margin of five lakh votes for Modi.
The BJP has projected Modi as “Chhote Sardar” equating him with Patel,besides running a campaign ‘Vadodaranu vachan, Modinu mat’ meaning Vadodara’s promise, vote for Modi). Further, the party ensured that only young men participated in a motorcycle rally in support of Modi to convey the message that he was pretty popular among the youth.
Modi’s rival Madhusudan Mistry is arguing that it is the Congress and not Modi, which is committed to development. Mistry roped in Congress leader P Chidambaram and actor-turned-politicians Raj Babbar and Nagma in the final two days of the campaign to get across his point that Modi is an encounter CM and not a man of development.
While Nagma tried to reach out to the Muslims, Babbar raised a question on Modi’s efficiency. “He has assured to clean up the Ganga but why can’t he does the same with Vishwamitri River (which flows through Vadodara),” he asked. The Congress candidate has also set up a booth-level network. However, Mistry had a difficult time, trying to clarify his controversial statement on the BJP slogan ‘good days are coming’. Mistry had said that one had to undergo medical tests to ascertain whether good days were in the offing. The BJP had complained that his remarks were aimed at senior leader Sushma Swaraj, who had talked about good days, following which Mistry was forced to clarify that his target was the BJP and not Sushma. The Congress had pointed that Morarji Desai was the first Gujarati to become PM. “Desai led the Janata Party Government in which the BJP was a partner. It has again been proved that Modi does not know history,” Jeevraj Shah, a Congress leader said. Besides, the Congress campaign had alleged that the Modi Government in Gujarat had neglected the state’s Muslim community. However, the BJP countered the allegation saying that 11 per cent of the state government employees and 12 per cent policemen in Gujarat comprised Muslims. It had also circulated pamphlets stating that only 3,500 Muslims went for Haj 10 years ago. The number has gone up to 41,000 this year.
The Vadodara district administration has, for the first time in the country, decided to videotape the voting at all the 5,100 polling booths in the constituency to rule out the possibility of rigging of the votes.