Lashing out at the Congress for ostensibly trying to destabilise the Gujarat government, then led by him as the Chief Minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said in Gujarat's Himmatnagar that the UPA government had inflicted "as much damage as it could on Gujarat", and put "our police officers and Amitbhai (Shah) in jail in false cases".
At another rally in Akluj, in Maharashtra's Solapur district, Modi took on Sharad Pawar and claimed that the NCP chief had "fled" the election arena after sensing defeat.
He said, "Looking at this sea of saffron, I understand why Pawar fled from the poll ring. Pawar is an outstanding player…. He knows which way the wind is blowing, and that is why he took to his heels." Pawar is not contesting the polls.
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In the first of his three rallies in Gujarat, at Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district, Modi warned people that if the Opposition "by chance" returns to power at the Centre, "Gujarat will be the first victim".
"Between 2004 and 2014, there was a government with remote control in Delhi. Who held that remote," Modi asked, and the crowd roared: "Sonia Gandhi."
He said: "In those 10 years, Delhiwalas did as much damage to Gujarat as they could. Didn't they treat Gujarat as if it was not part of Hindustan? Didn't they do everything to break the Gujarat government? Should we give them another chance?"
Modi lashed out at the Congress for ostensibly insulting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Morarji Desai before him. He maintained that the Congress had insulted even Maniben, Sardar Patel's daughter, who was an MP from Sabarkantha.
In Akluj, Modi said, "Pawar attacked me, saying my family did not exist. The Indian family system has set an example before the world for thousands of years.it is the biggest strength of India. Pawar is elder to me, and he has every right to speak ill against me."
He said his life is inspired by families of greats such as Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, the Chapekar brothers, Mahatma Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, and Veer Savarkar.
Referring to the Gandhi family, Modi said Pawar's model is a Delhi family - "you are busy serving a Delhi family and drawing inspiration from it."