Gandhinagar: With the blistering heat turning mass contact into an ordeal, contending rivals heaved a sigh of relief as campaigning for the 26 Lok Sabha seats from Gujarat ended on Sunday. Voting takes place on Tuesday.
Approx 4.47 crore voters will cast their franchise in 51,709 polling booths in the state on April 23. As the clock ticked towards end of campaigning in Gujarat, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party president Amit Shah headed to the state for a last and final reach out.
The prime minister who made time out for the north Gujarat constituency of Patan, considered a weak seat for his party switched to the old narrative of Balakot and Pakistan in a last ditch attempt to sway undecided voters to cast their lot with the BJP.
“I had warned Pakistan that if the captured Indian pilot comes to harm, there will be reprising consequences for the neighbour. It matters little whether I remain the Prime Minister or not, but I am determined to stamp out terror from the soil of India”, he added.
Modi alluded to a senior US official to say he had told Pakistan that India had kept 12 missiles ready to attack Pakistan and matters could worsen. “Thus it was that Pakistan was forced to release our pilot lest it become a “quatl ki raat”. Modi kept switching narratives between national security and son of the soil to make the point that Gujarat needed to back it’s own to the hilt.
“I know I am coming back to power for a second term but the victory will be incomplete without Gujarat repeating its score of old. It is you who chose to send me to Delhi and I have proved the worth of Gujarat. Now it is for you to ensure that you give us all the 26 seats from the state”, he added.
Modi pointed out that previous governments had neglected the defence of the country with the result that preparedness had suffered. “I immediately got to work plugging the breach. We have started new manufacturing facilities. In Hazira in south Gujarat we are manufacturing howitzers which have a range of 48 kms.
We are also setting up a major Air force base at Deesa in north Gujarat as also a factory for manufacturing the latest version of AK-47 rifles in Amethi. I did not sit diddling like the Manmohan Singh government did in the aftermath of the 26/11 attack in Mumbai. My work is there for all to see in the aftermath of Pulwama”, he added.
Modi said that he was sure that the BJP will win all the 26 seats from Gujarat. “I am your son and it is the duty of the family to look after their offspring so you must ensure full contribution from Gujarat. If Modi was in north Gujarat, Amit Shah was in his Gandhinagar constituency conducting a road show in Sanand area. He also held a meeting to give final touches to booth management plans in the area.
Most of the Congress candidates also struck to their constituencies seeking to utilise the last day to reach out to as many voters as possible. NCP secretary Shankersinh Vaghela who had quit the Congress in 2017 was seen campaigning for CJChavda, the Congress candidate opposing Amit Shah in Gandhinagar.