Gujarat polls a battle of pride for BJP: Amit Shah

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Gandhinagar, Oct 16- BJP chief Amit Shah today termed the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls a “battle of pride” for the ruling party and exhorted the workers to ensure an improved tally of 150 seats over the 129 it won in 2002 under the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

Shah slammed the Congress and asked BJP cadres to completely “root out” the party from the prime minister’s home state.

Speaking before Shah, Modi praised his trusted lieutenant as the “man of the match” for the BJP’s victory in the 2014 elections and also in the assembly polls held in Uttar Pradesh this year.

The BJP president urged his party cadres to not sit idle and reach out to every citizen after Diwali to ensure a landslide victory.

He appealed to BJP workers to ensure that the party wins three-fourth majority in the polls, due in December this year.

“This is a battle of pride for us, as we want nothing short of three-fourth majority. As your president, I urge all party workers to give your 100 per cent. Do not sit idle after Diwali. I urge you to reach out to each and every citizen and spread Modiji’s message of development,” Shah said while addressing “Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan”.

The rally was held a day after the conclusion of the party’s ‘Gujarat Guarav Yatra’ aimed at mobilising public support ahead of the Assembly polls.

Noting that a two-third majority will not suffice this time, Shah recalled that the BJP had secured 129 seats when Modi was chief minister in 2002.

“And now, when he is our prime minister, we must make and all-out bid to clinch 150 seats (out of the 182 in the Assembly),” Shah said.

He accused the Congress of showing “fake” concern for Gujarat without naming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi who has been addressing rallies in various parts of the state and visited a number of temples.

“For five years, you will not find these Congressmen anywhere. But as election approaches, they start claiming that they would win. In this election, BJP workers need to root out the Congress completely from Gujarat,” the BJP chief said.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was also present, announced his government will provide farm loan up to Rs 3 lakh at zero per cent interest to farmers.

“Today, I want to announce that farmers in Gujarat would now get farm loans at zero per cent interest. Till now, they were charged one per cent whereas the state and Centre used to bear the remaining 6 per cent interest. For the welfare of around 25 lakh farming families, I hereby announce that one per cent would be waived too,” the CM said.