| Arun Jaitley (left) and Narendra Modi during the Gaurav Yatra in Karamsad. (AFP)
Karamsad (Gujarat), Oct. 31: Calling upon youths to turn the December 12 Assembly election into a “dharma yudh”, the BJP today launched its poll campaign from Sardar Patel’s birthplace.
The BJP’s youth wing organised a rally to mark the 128th birth anniversary of the Iron Man which coincided with the start of the eighth phase of Narendra Modi’s Gaurav Yatra.
Modi thanked the Election Commission for announcing the dates and giving him an opportunity to begin his poll campaign from “this holy place” that he “salutes”.
Refraining from his usual anti-minority tirade, Modi’s 45-minute speech centred on “the humiliation Sardar Patel had to suffer because of the Nehru family”. It is an irony that no one from the Nehru family has bothered to visit Karamsad, he said.
Claiming to be the “waris” (inheritor of Sardar Patel’s ideals), Modi declared that abuses hurled at him did not bother him. The Iron Man had to face the same hostile reactions, he said. Like Sardar Patel, “I’m not going to be cowed down. I’m a born fighter”.
Spelling out his vision of Gujarat, Modi said he wants every village in the state to become a global village with modern facilities, with job opportunities. To woo youths, especially those who want to go abroad, the chief minister announced that his government would set up a global education employment board which would work as a bridge between aspiring students and countries where they want to study.
Earlier, BJP national general secretary Arun Jaitley said the Congress had disowned Sardar Patel. The policies the Congress is going to adopt in Kashmir — like non-implementation of the anti-terror Act and reviewing cases of detained militants — is not the path shown by Sardar Patel, he said.
The BJP has asked all its Central ministers, including Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Murli Manohar Joshi, Pramod Mahajan and Sushma Swaraj, to set aside seven days in November and December to campaign for the Gujarat elections.