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Dec 09, 2007 at 10:32pm IST

Rahul plays the Gandhi card against Modi

Surat: The last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat polls ended on Sunday. A confident Rahul Gandhi emerged for his first election campaign outside Uttar Pradesh. It was a road show in the diamond city of Surat and Rahul was the Congress' final weapon in what's also Narendra Modi's urban stronghold, where the Congress clearly kept it’s focus on development.

In his rhetoric, Rahul Gandhi said that the Modi led government in Gujarat seems to be hiding behind lies.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi termed the BJP government in the state as a regime of "falsehood" and asked the people to vote it out in coming assembly polls.

Equating Modi government with British rule in India, Gandhi appealed every one to follow the "footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi" who dislodged the colonial yoke. "In the state of Mahatma Gandhi, let us remember his teachings to seek the truth. Today, the government here is in the habit of bowing to falsehood and lies. Never support falsehood," he told an election rally here.

Gandhi alleged the Modi government has attempted to glorify falsehood by repeatedly uttering them loudly and forcefully.

"Shouting falsehood would never make it true and one would be proved wrong if he thinks that the people seeking truth can be chased away by threat and lies," he said.

Rubbishing the BJP government's "attempt" to attribute the state's prosperity to Modi's leadership, Gandhi said the prosperity in Gujarat was due to industrious nature of the people of the state and not due to any initiative by an individual.

"Gujarat is prosperous today because of the hard work of the people here," he said. This is for the first time the young MP joined in the election campaign in Gujarat. He had also campaigned for the party during the Uttar Pradesh election earlier this year.

Rahul's road show came literally on a collision course with a BJP road show and had to halt for a while. This was indeed a light reminder of the tough battle for Gujarat. While the larger battle will be fought at the ballot on Dec 11 and 16, smaller ones are on. The BJP has knocked at the Election Commission's doors apparently over some minority appeasing ads by the Centre in newspapaers in Ahmedabad

“Indian government has given an advertisement in the newspaper. They have tried to appease the minorities, by dividing the votes on the basis of caste. What is worth noting is that these ads have appeared on print few days before the polls. However, we have complaint to the Election Commission about it,” says Prakash Javdekar, BJP Spokesperson.

However, for the moment the road shows and political noises have faded out as campaigning for phase one came to an end on Sunday. It's now time for the verdict from voters in 87contituencies that go to the polls on Tuesday.

With Agency inputs

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