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Narendra Modi accuses Pakistan of interfering in Gujarat elections

Narendra Modi accuses Pakistan of interfering in Gujarat elections
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Congress over Mani Shankar Aiyar-'s -'neech-' comment and his reported recent meeting with...

Palanpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Congress over Mani Shankar Aiyar's 'neech' comment and his reported recent meeting with Pakistani officials, alleging that Pakistan was interfering in Gujarat Assembly elections.

Modi, who was speaking at a rally in Palanpur in Banaskantha, sought an explanation from the Congress over its top partymen who purportedly met leaders from the neighbouring country.

The Prime Minister also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made Chief Minister of Gujarat.

"There were media reports about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was attended by Pakistan's high commissioner, Pakistan's former foreign minister, India's former vice-president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh," Modi said. The meeting at Aiyar's house carried on for almost three hours, Modi said. "The next day, Aiyar called me 'neech'. This is a serious matter," he added.

"(On one side) Pakistan Army's former director general is interfering in Gujarat's election, on the other side, Pakistan's people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house," he alleged. "And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted.

Don't you think such events raise doubts?" Modi asked. He said the Congress should inform the people of the country what exactly it was up to. Attacking the Congress over its frequent "suit boot ki sarkar" jibe against him, Modi said that the Padma Awards are a good indicator of who really is pro-poor in their policies. "Just see the kind of people who were given the Padma Awards (Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan) in the 10 years of UPA government and three years of NDA government.

You will realise who works for the common man," Modi said. After Palanpur, Modi travelled to Sanand, where he continued to slam the Congress. "Could anyone have imagined that a small village like Sanand would reach such great levels of development?" Modi asked at the beginning of his speech.

Modi said that Congress governments of the past only developed the Ankleshwar-Vapi "golden corridor". "We also developed Sanand, Viramgam and other areas too. This area is now a hub of automobile industry, " Modi said while adding that companies like Tata Nano. Maruti Suzuki, Ford, Bharat Forge now have their factories in the region.

Slamming Congress over corruption and caste politics, Modi said, "Those who had made corruption their habit cannot help the country. I took the state to new economic height but these Congress leaders used caste politics to break Gujarat. I remember Viramgam used to have frequent curfews in the past as a result," the Prime Minister said.

The second phase of polling in north and central Gujarat, including the Banaskantha district, will be held on December 14. Counting of votes will take place on December 18. In the first phase of polling on Saturday, 89 out of the 182 seats voted. The voter turnout was around 68 per cent, the Election Commission said.

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