Phagvel, Sept. 8: After three false starts, Narendra Modi’s Gaurav Yatra finally rolled — not to tom-tom the pride of Gujarat but to splash scorn on the “daughter of Italy”.
Virtually kickstarting the BJP campaign for possible year-end elections at the biggest BJP rally in this Kshatriya stronghold of state Congress chief Shankersinh Vaghela, Modi lashed out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi for trying to capitalise on the Godhra carnage to capture power in the state.
“Sonia Gandhi is the daughter of Italy who does not even have knowledge of India’s history. Congress is trying to reach Gandhinagar through Godhra, a dream which will never be realised,” he told the rally.
He said Mahatma Gandhi had asked the “White people to quit India and “by installing Italy ki beti, the Congress people have insulted the Father of the Nation”.
Modi asked Congressmen to discard their “Italian glasses” to “sift fact from fiction”. “Congressmen will never understand what’s Gujarat’s gaurav as long as they continue to wear Italian glasses.”
“The people of Gujarat will never forgive Sonia Gandhi for calling them Godse,” the chief minister said, adding that the yatra was aimed at “erasing the stigma attached to the fair name of Gujarat by the Congress”.
No Central minister attended Modi’s yatra, but in the presence of a galaxy of state BJP leaders and some Gujarati actors, party national general secretary Rajnath Singh flagged off the chief minister’s hi-tech rath, a modified vehicle painted saffron.
Referring to Vaghela’s rally here on September 3, the chief minister declared that “the end of the Congress is the beginning of the BJP. A few days ago, the Congress terminated its yatra in this village, their end is our beginning’’. Modi chose to defer his yatra and gave his rival the right of way to avoid any confrontation with the Congress workers.
Today, he appealed to BJP workers not to be provoked by Congressmen as it could be a tactic to stop his rath. He thanked the Congress for giving “wide publicity to the Gaurav Yatra’’ by forcing him to postpone it thrice. ( )