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PM Narendra Modi Hits Back at 'Vikas' Memes, Says Development Stopped at Hand Pumps Earlier

Speaking at a public rally after laying the foundation for Rajkot international airport at Chotila, PM Modi asked the audience if they wanted ‘vikas’ or not and whether they had dreamt they would get an airport.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:October 7, 2017, 8:03 PM IST
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PM Narendra Modi Hits Back at 'Vikas' Memes, Says Development Stopped at Hand Pumps Earlier
The PM addressed a public meeting after laying the foundation stone of an airport. (Image: PIB India/Twitter)
Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, on Saturday doubled down on the development model of the BJP and hit back at the Congress’ ‘Vikas has gone crazy’ campaign ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

Speaking at a public rally after laying the foundation of the Rajkot international airport at Chotila in Surendranagar, Modi asked the audience if they wanted ‘vikas’ or not and whether they had dreamt they would get an airport.

“Should we call it vikas if an airport is constructed here? Is vikas necessary? Will it change your future?” he asked the crowd in Gujarati, and got a resounding ‘yes’ in response. Then, shifting to Hindi, the PM further said, “Ask a poor person if he or she wants a house? It is not possible without vikas.”

Alluding to the Congress, he said there was vikas earlier too, but of a different kind. “A neta would ask for votes, saying that he installed a hand pump in a village or street. Installing a hand pump was the definition of vikas. Today there is a government that provides Narmada water through pipelines all across the state," Modi said.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was a bit more direct in his attack on the Congress and praise of the PM. Claiming that development and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are synonyms, he said that people will not pardon those who are poking fun at ‘vikas’.

“For them, vikas is 'mazaak' (fun), but it is ‘mijaaz’ (matter of prestige) for us,” he said. Quite clearly, Rupani was referring to the onslaught of "Vikas Gone Crazy" memes on social media that have rattled the BJP leadership over the past one month or so.

The Congress IT Cell, on the other hand, said the fact that the PM has responded to the campaign means he has acknowledged all is not well with the BJP's Gujarat model.

“The PM has acknowledged that all is not well and claims of development are exaggerated. We will respond to his statements with an appropriate campaign soon,” said Rohan Gupta, head of the party’s IT cell in the state. He added that the party would also respond to Rupani's statement that ‘Vikas is the mijaaz' of people of Gujarat.
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