Shiv Sena needles BJP on ‘Gujarat Model’

The editorial also referred to the allegation by a Patel quota activist that he was offered a Rs one crore bribe by the BJP for joining the party

Taking a dig at the BJP over the ‘Gujarat model of development’, the Shiv Sena said on Wednesday if the claims about its success were true why the government had to dole out sops days ahead of the Assembly polls. “If development work was carried out there in the last 15 years, the elections could have been won without the drama of campaigning. If the Gujarat model of development was true, there was no need for announcements (of sops) before polls,” an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna said.

It said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Gujarat thrice in the last week and visited the state five times since September for ‘bhoomi pujan’ (ground breaking ceremony) of various projects. He also warned that the Centre will not provide any financial assistance to those who oppose development. In other words, he warned people to cast their votes in favour of the BJP, the Saamna editorial said.

Taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, Sena, a BJP ally, said protests by the Patidar community led by Hardik Patel posed a big challenge to Modi due to which he has not been able to go on a foreign trip for quite some time. It said Modi was spending a lot of time in Gujarat as he knows it is not easy to win polls in his home state.

The editorial also referred to the allegation by a Patel quota activist that he was offered a Rs one crore bribe by the BJP for joining the party. “Narendra Patil (an activist of Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti), who claimed to have received an offer of Rs 1 crore to join the BJP is not just one example. Attempts are being made to buy heavyweight leaders there. If those behind this exercise are trying to control politics in this manner, it is dangerous for the country,” it said.

“Lies and deceit do not work always. You used money power in Maharashtra against the Sena to win elections. But isn’t Gujarat your (Modi’s) state? Hasn’t your ‘Vikas bhai’ (Modi) boasted about Gujarat having shown the light of development to the nation? Then why is money being used to buy people and silence opponents?” the editorial asked.

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