The Telegraph
Monday , December 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gandhi kin faces ire of CM ‘devotees’

Ahmedabad, Dec. 16: Tushar Gandhi’s plan to discuss politics over a cuppa in Ahmedabad has flopped, leaving the great-grandson of Gandhi to bitterly comment that if you’re not a Modi devotee you will not be heard in Gujarat.

“No, there is no room for dissent here. They only want to listen to you if you are a Modi bhakt (devotee),” Tushar said yesterday.

He was here on the invitation of NGO Anhad, which wanted Tushar to engage informally with Ahmedabad residents. An interaction with morning walkers at two sites — Parimal Garden and Gujarat University — was organised on Friday, billed as “Morning tea with Tushar Gandhi”.

Instead, it ended up with belligerent Ahmedabad residents questioning Tushar’s motive and branding him a Congress agent.

“They were not even ready to listen to me; they just shouted, questioning why I was here now; why was I against Modi who they claimed has done so much for Gujarat, though I had not even said anything about Modi,” Tushar said.

Modi boasted in Maninagar on Friday that the unprecedented 70.75 per cent turnout in the first phase was proof that there was not just a wave but a “storm that will uproot Congress from Gujarat”.

Tushar, however, argued that the high turnout could go any way, especially given the presence of Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party.

Even though Modi may win a third term, for him losing even one seat will be a big blow, he said. “If his tally is substantially reduced, it will be a nail in the coffin of his prime ministerial ambition,” said Tushar.