BJP chief Amit Shah today accused three generations of the Congress party of having “insulted” Gujarat, as he virtually sounded the bugle for the Assembly polls in the state from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s native place. In a gesture loaded with symbolism, Shah paid tributes to Patel at his ancestral home in Karamsad with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel in tow, before invoking icons of Gujarat, including Patel, Morarji Desai and Narendra Modi, to mount an offensive against the Congress.
He also launched the ‘Gujarat Gaurav Yatra’ (March for Gujarat’s Honour). “Rahul Gandhi comes here and seeks answer from us as to what has the BJP done for the state. We are seeking an answer from you (the Congress) for injustices that the three generations of your rule did to us,” the BJP president said. “While the first generation of Congress insulted Sardar Patel by not giving him his due recognition and Bharat Ratna, Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi did injustice to Morarji Desai,” Shah alleged. “The third generation of (Congress leaders) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have done injustice to Narendra Modi, and Gujarat seeks answer for that,” he said.
Desai was a deputy prime minister under Indira Gandhi before falling out with her. He became the prime minister in 1977 when the first non-Congress government was formed after Emergency. Shah, while referring to Modi was apparently hinting at the attacks he faced, particularly from the Congress, following the post-Godhra communal conflagration. Modi, as the Gujarat chief minister, had taken out a yatra by the same name before the 2002 Assembly elections.