Gandhinagar: Seeking to raise the electioneering pitch in Gujarat, the BJP latched onto a meme mocking Narendra Modi’s tea moment and organized a ‘man ki baat, chai ke saath’ programme in the state, wherein 99 party leaders and an assorted workforce listened to his radio talk while sipping tea with people across the poll bound state. “This was followed through across all the 50,128 polling booths in the 182 Assembly seats,’’ the party claimed on Sunday.
If national party chief Amit Shah tuned into the programme at a tea stall in the Muslim dominated area of Dariapur in Ahmedabad, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did so at a booth in Adajan Patia locality of Surat. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani chose Mora village in tribal dominated Panchmahal district for his tea and radio programme while his deputy preferred a booth of his own constituency in Mehsana district to do likewise.
Gujarat on Sunday was teeming with BJP VVIPs. These included union ministers Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Uma Bharti, Smriti Irani, Purshottam Rupala, Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani and numerous state ministers, MPs, MLAs besides an assortment of party leaders.
The BJP, which has been clutching at straws in the wind seeking to rake up issues, had latched onto a twitter handle remark of the youth Congress online magazine Yuva Desh which had mocked at Modi’s ‘chaiwala’ past and English speaking skills. Soon after the controversy, the Youth Congress has tendered an apology and removed the tweet.
However, the BJP, desperate for issues to blow up, stuck to the theme by organizing this Sunday event around Modi’s ‘Mann ki baat’ radio talk.
Union minister Smriti Irani, who was in Junagadh for the event, said that the people of Gujarat will teach the Congress a lesson for its anti-poor and anti-Gujarat mind set. Finance minister Jaitley in Surat claimed that the Congress will not be a good choice for Gujarat and the BJP, which has been ruling the state on the basis of a developmental agenda, was the natural choice.
Bollywood actor and BJP MP Paresh Raval in Rajkot took a below the belt swipe at the Congress vice-chief when he said that there could be no objection if you visit temples but you must emulate Narendra Modi and also bow your heads on the steps of Parliament. ‘‘Before casting their vote people must pray to their patron God if they want their son to be like Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi”, he added .
Raval said that Modi was himself a superstar and does not need a Bollywood actor to pitch. Meanwhile, Modi arrives in Gujarat on Monday on a three day visit.