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Gujarat Elections 2017: From Neech Aadmi to Pakistan-Ahmed Patel row; statements that dominated the campaign

As the campaigning for Gujarat assembly election finished today, voters can finally heave a sigh of relief after days of non-stop bickering between top political leaders. From calling GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ to accusing Pakistan of meddling in Gujarat polls, both Congress and BJP left no stones unturned to make sharp jab at each others. Here are some of the most talked about statements made during Gujarat campaign. 1. Gabbar Singh TaxStepping up his attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi dubbed Goods and Services Tax (GST) as “BJP’s Gabbar Singh Tax.”Addressing a public gathering in Gandhinagar on October before the Gujarat assembly election, Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP-led government for a “faulty tax regime that is destroying small businessmen and industries in the country”.Rahul Gandhi even tweeted the next day saying, “Congress GST = Genuine Simple Tax. Modi ji’s GST = Gabbar Singh Tax = yeh kamaai mujhe de de (give me the income).”2. The Rahul Gandhi – Janeu Dhari controversy It all started when Rahul Gandhi visited Somnath temple on December 29 and allegations started pouring in that the Congress leader is not ‘Hindu’. This claim was based on the allegation that Rahul Gandhi was registered as non-Hindu when he visited the temple. BJP was quick to react and slammed the Congress leader for lying about his faith.Congress then refuted the charge saying Rahul Gandhi is not only a Hindu but a “janeu dhari” (janeu dhari means the Hindus who wear the sacred thread that would reveal him as Brahmin). Congress also blamed BJP for deviating from the important issues.After the controversy broke out, Rahul Gandhi also came forward and said he and his family are “shiv-bhakts” and they don’t do “dalali” over religion and political gain.“My grandmother (Indira Gandhi) and my family are Shiv bhakts (devotees). But we keep such things private. We generally do not speak about them. Because, we think it is a very personal matter and we don’t need anyone else’s certificate about it… We don’t want to do ‘dalali’ over it. We do not want to use it for political purposes too.”However, BJP leader Sambit Patra could not let go of the controversy and took a poetic dig at Rahul Gandhi and said the Congress leader changes his faith according to his political gain.”Badaltey huye mausam ka badalta huya parwana hoon main. Gujarat mein janeudhari Hindu hoon toh UP-Bihar mein maulana hoon main. (With the changing weather I change myself. In Gujarat I am a Hindu and in UP-Bihar I am a Muslim),” Patra said while addressing a conference on December 6.3. PM Modi’s “Aurangzeb Raj” jibe at CongressAfter Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers for the post of Congress president, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took direct jibe at Congress over dynasty politics. Addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Valsad, PM Modi said, “I congratulate the Congress on their ‘Aurangzeb Raj’.”“For us, the well-being and betterment of people matters because we consider 125 crore Indians as our high command,” PM Modi added.The BJP attacked Congress over dynastic politics, contrasting it with their party, saying people from all kinds of backward get an opportunity to rise to the top like Narendra Modi, who sold tea in Gujarat is now the prime minister.;4. Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remarkSenior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar created quite a storm when he referred Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “neech aadmi”. “This person is a ‘neech aadmi’ (low-minded). He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics,” Aiyar said.The “neech” remark was not received well by both BJP and Congress and created massive controversy just before the polling. BJP attacked the Congress party for disrespecting the prime minister and said the “people of Gujarat will punish anti-poor, anti-Dalit, anti-Tribal and anti-OBC Congress”.Responding to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s neech comment, PM Modi said,”Shriman Mani Shankar Aiyar said that Modi is of ‘neech’ (lower) caste and is ‘neech’ (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? This is a Mughal mentality where if such a person (who comes from a humble background) wears good clothes in a village, they have a problem.”In a damage control move, the Congress then suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar from the party and issued him a show cause notice.Rahul Gandhi also tweeted: “BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said.”5. With love from CongressAfter the neech remark by Mani Shankar Aiyar snowballed, Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally took a subtle dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he will defeat the BJP with love not anger.”Modi ji, Gujarat mein hum aapko pyaar se, bina gusse ke haraane jaa rahe hain (PM Modi, this time in Gujarat we will defeat you with love, with no anger, we will defeat you),” Gandhi said at a rally. “Modi ji keeps using bad words against me in his speeches, even today he did so. Rahul Gandhi respects the post of PM. No matter what PM says about me, but I won’t utter even a single bad word about the PM,” the newly appointed Congress president added.6. PM Modi’s Pakistan-Ahmed Patel rowIn perhaps the most significant statement of the entire polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that Pakistan was meddling in the Gujarat assembly election and sought answers from top leaders of Congress who are said to have held secret meetings with Pakistan officials.“Why did you hold a closed-door meeting just before Gujarat polls? If it was so important, why did not you invite Indian officials also to attend it. Or reported it back to the Government of India. You must explain it,” PM Modi said while addressing a rally.The prime minister alleged that former PM Manmohan Singh and other Congress minister held secret meetings with Pakistan’s High Commissioner and Foreign Minister at party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house just before the elections. The prime minister also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, to appoint senior Congress leader Ahmed patel as the chief minister of Gujarat.”(On one side) Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, on the other side, Pakistan’s people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house,” PM Modi said. The Congress also slammed PM Modi for making ‘false accusations’. Rahul Gandhi said that the statement made by Modi about a former prime minister and other Congress ministers meeting Pakistan officials in “unacceptable”.

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Gujarat elections 2017 | Have ‘achhe din’ arrived, Rahul Gandhi asks Saurashtra

After demonetization and GST, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked prime minister Narendra Modi over his achhe din promise, saying they had arrived only for a select few while most people continued to grapple with problems.”Have achhe din arrived? Did Gabbar Singh Tax bring achhe din? Did you queue up during notes ban and saw thieves converting black money into white? At least some people’s achhe din have come,” Gandhi said addressing a gathering at Lathi in the Patidar dominated Amreli district on Thursday.In an attempt to reach out to farmers, the Congress leader raised the issue of their land being taken away, and they not getting the right MSP for their produce.”The Modi government waived off loans of Rs1.30 lakh crore of five biggest industrialists last year, but there was no waiver for farmers. Modi ji is talking about farmers for 22 years, but has not given any benefit to them,” he said, promising that the Congress would start the process to waive farmer loans within ten days of forming the government.He also recalled that the UPA government had waived off loans worth Rs70,000 crore of farmers across the country. Later, at an event in Botad, he said that its the first time in a state that so many communities, be it Patidars, OBCs, Dalits or tribals, were agitating.”Only a few people in the state are not agitating,” he said. Gandhi also raised the issue of Rs33,000 crore favours granted to Tata Motors for Nano plant in Sanand, saying the money was almost equivalent to what the UPA government provided in a year for MGNREGA.”If the same Rs33,000 crore was invested in colleges or hospitals, you would not be required to spend lakhs of rupees for admission or for treatment,” he said. He also accused the Modi government of snatching farmers’ land and giving it away to industries. “Modi ji took away 6.5 lakh acre land of Gujarat’s farmers and gifted it to his friends,” he charged.Congress challenges BJP-ruled gujaratContinuing to target GST as Gabbar Singh Tax, the Congress scion alleged that it had destroyed small traders and industries. He alleged that corruption is rampant in Gujarat, saying no work happens without paying money.. He also came down heavily on the PM for his note-ban decisions saying it had resulted in the whole country queuing up at banks.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi is a terrific actor, Rahul Gandhi hits back

On a day when both of them were campaigning in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Modi saying he was a ‘terrific actor’. He claimed that PM Modi only ‘cried a few days before elections’, and not for farmers or students.He was quoted saying by ANI: “He is a terrific actor. You will see he will shed tears a few days before election. He will cry for everything but not for farmers. He will also not cry when students have to shell out money for taking admission in college or people have to go to hospital.”He added: “Congress will win in December. We will waive loans of farmers within 10 days. If govt will function, it will be for farmers, small and medium businesses and you. We will ask what you want and will run the govt accordingly.”Earlier in the day, he had tweeted and said people were demanding answers. 22 salon ka hisaab, Gujarat mange jawaab (Gujarat demands answers for 22 years of BJP rule), he tweeted.Seeking to pin the government down on the issue of housing, Gandhi asked the prime minister whether it would take 45 more years to provide new houses to Gujaratis.Giving numbers to buttress his argument, he said, “First question to the prime minister on the state of affairs in Gujarat – In 2012, he promised to provide 50 lakh new houses, but provided 4.72 lakh in five years. Will the prime minister tell whether it will take another 45 years to fulfil the promise?The prime minister and the opposition leader are in Gujarat today to campaign for their parties ahead of the December 9 and 14 assembly poll.Gandhi will campaign in the state for two days and will start with a visit to the famous Somnath temple.He will also hold public meetings in at least three districts today and tomorrow, party leaders said.Continuing his high decibel campaign in poll-bound Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling GST ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ and said those who looted the country could only think of dacoits.Meanwhile, reacting to Gandhi’s criticism of GST, Modi said a recently emerged “economist” was propagating a “grand stupid thought” by suggesting that GST rate be capped at 18 per cent.Making a fresh bid for power in his home state, where the BJP has ruled for over two decades, Modi also listed various development works by the government on water conservation, agriculture and development of the Saurashtra region.Addressing a huge rally in Morbi town in the region, which goes to polls in the first phase on December 9, he accused the Congress of taking credit for minor schemes, like providing hand-pumps, while saying that the BJP rule brought in major works like the Narmada project.Making a strong appeal to the people to vote for the BJP in this Patidar community stronghold, Modi said his party should not be voted out for 100 years.”Today, some so called smart people, some new economists have emerged who are misleading people,” he declared in his speech in Gujarati.”Those who have looted people throughout their life, they can only remember dacoits,” Modi said in a reply to Gandhi’s ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ jibe, recalling the iconic villain from the Bollywood blockbuster “Sholay”.He said Gandhi was propagating a ‘grand stupid thought’ in the name of GST, telling people that they will slash all tax rates and make it 18 per cent.This means 18 per cent tax on salt and 18 per cent tax on luxury cars costing Rs 5 crore, he noted.”What kind of smartness is this… how has such an economist emerged here. You want to make goods used by the poor like clothes, footwear and food costlier and you want to make cigarettes and liquor cheaper,” he said, ripping into the “anti poor” Congress over its criticism of the tax reform.The prime minister went on to say that making cigarettes cheaper means bringing cancer in every home and asked which rich businessmen the opposition leader sought to benefit by making liquor cheaper.He also brought up Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother, the late Indira Gandhi.Recalling the Macchu dam flood tragedy of 1979 in Morbi,the prime minister said he had spent one month working in the town after the disaster as an RSS and Jan Sangh worker.”I remember Indira Gandhi had come here and Chitralekha (a local language magazine) had printed her photo with a handkerchief over her nose, trying to avoid the stench, while another photo on the same front page had RSS workers carrying dead bodies,” he said.”Those who have helped us in times of difficulties should be remembered,” he added.Modi then went on to list how his government had worked to bring waters from the Narmada to the parched regions of Saurashtra and Kutch.”The Congress’ development model was giving hand-pumps. For the BJP it is the SAUNI scheme (the Narmada water project for Saurashtra region), where we will fill dams of Saurashtra through huge pipelines.”The culture of this parched land, Modi said, was to give respect to those who have tried to do something to provide water.”The BJP has done many things and it should not be thrown out of power in the state for the next 100 years,” Modi said.Rahul Gandhi is also in Gujarat today and tomorrow and is expected to address multiple rallies.Modi had on Monday pushed the BJP’s campaign in his home state into a high gear by addressing four back-to-back rallies.Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The votes will be counted on December With inputs from PTI
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Watch: Child dressed as PM Modi leaves him awestruck at event in Navasari

On Wednesday, during a hectic campaign in Gujarat, PM Modi was greeted with a wonderous sight when a child dressed exactly like him greeted him onstage at Navasari.From Modi’s trademark white beard, glasses, saffron scarf, the child was dressed exactly like the PM and even PM Modi appeared awestruck by the similarities.PM Modi asked the child to wave to the crowd and realised that they were even wearing similar sacred threads on their wrists, an attention to detail that appeared to please the Prime Minister.Watch the video below: Speaking in Navasri, the PM said: “When we remember people, we remember Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Buddha, Sardar Patel, Netaji Bose, Bhagat Singh but they remember Gabbar Singh. What more can I say about their thought process.”Continuing his high decibel campaign in poll-bound Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling GST ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ and said those who looted the country could only think of dacoits.In a stinging rebuttal to Gandhi’s repeated criticism of the Goods and Services Tax, a key economic reform of the NDA government, Modi said a recently emerged “economist” was propagating a “grand stupid thought” by suggesting that GST rate be capped at 18 per cent.Making a fresh bid for power in his home state, where the BJP has ruled for over two decades, Modi also listed various development works by the government on water conservation, agriculture and development of the Saurashtra region.Addressing a huge rally in Morbi town in the region, which goes to polls in the first phase on December 9, he accused the Congress of taking credit for minor schemes, like providing hand-pumps, while saying that the BJP rule brought in major works like the Narmada project.Making a strong appeal to the people to vote for the BJP in this Patidar community stronghold, Modi said his party should not be voted out for 100 years.
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Centre may have made slab changes to GST, but structural change is needed: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday during his trip to Gujarat continued his tirade against the Central government’s implementation of ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.While addressing locals during a public meeting at Chhala village near Gandhinagar, Gandhi said, “Gabbar Singh Tax reforms have been made after the Congress put pressure on the Central government. This was not our model. We want a simple tax and will continue to fight until we get one. Though they have changed the slabs there is still need for structural change.”He also said that if Congress comes to power, it will work for improving health and education services for the masses and for the welfare of farmers, women and workers.North Gujarat is an extremely important region for the Congress. Even as its electoral base has steadily declined in other parts of the state in recent years, it has managed to hold on to its support base in north Gujarat. In fact, Congress had won 17 seats in the region in 2012 polls, more than 15 won by BJP.Gandhi had visited Saurashtra for four days, and central and south Gujarat for three days each. He had visited flood-hit areas of Banaskantha in the first week of August, and attended various events in Ahmedabad in the same month. He had also visited Surat earlier this week on November 8, the anniversary of demonetisation, his seventh visit to the state in three months. He is also expected to campaign extensively in the run-up to the polls.

Desperate youth took online tutorials to break open ATM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After failing once in an ATM robbery attempt, 19-year-old Manish decided to take tutorials on the internet and then formed a team of four, including a juvenile, to give it another attempt. Desperate to obtain a big sum of money in order to be able to marry his girlfriend of seven years, Manish and his friends targeted an ATM in Subhash Place, but landed in police custody.The robbery attempt this time was foiled by a group of local residents who had arrived at the ATM to withdraw cash, but saw Manish and friends attempting to break open the ATM. Acting as good samaritans, the locals raised an alarm and chased them. Later, with the help of police, the four accused were nabbed.The accused have been identified as Manish (19), who works at IGL, his friends Vishnu (18) and Ankit alias Gabbar (18) an undergraduate student. The gang also included a juvenile who was roped in by Manish.The entire drama unfolded between 2 am to 3 am when Anurag Sharma, a resident of Subhash Place, and one of his friends, were returning from office and then they came to a Canara Bank ATM to withdraw some cash. But as they approached the ATM, they saw some armed persons were trying to break it open to loot money.“Anurag called his friend Irshad and after his arrival all three of them raised an alarm. Seeing the locals, the accused tried to flee in an Esteem car parked nearby but were chased by them. Meanwhile, a PCR call was made by the locals and the beat officer also joined the chase. They intercepted the car, which the accused had rammed into a divider while trying to escape,” said DCP (Northwest) Milind Dumbere.

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