Amid growing speculation of a Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi electoral battle in 2014, the Gujarat chief minister indirectly challenged Rahul to come and campaign in the state.
"Now Congress says Rahul is not coming to Gujarat. Why? People of the state and I want to know the reason. Does he think Gujarat is so bad that he won't tour the state?" Modi said, addressing a rally in Mota Pondha village in Valsad district of south Gujarat.
Modi's jibe comes at a time when the Congress does not want to take any chances to pit the 42-year-old party general secretary against the BJP strongman on his own turf, lest he suffer the ignominy similar to the Uttar Pradesh debacle and further dent is already waning.
Modi addressed a series of rallies in south Gujarat as a part of his month-long Swami Vivekanand Yuva Vikas Yatra. In Pardi town near Vapi, BJP leader Smriti Irani also took potshots at Rahul saying, "How can he come to Gujarat when he has completely lost face after Congress's drubbing in Uttar Pradesh elections?"
Addressing a rally in Valsad, Modi threw an open challenge to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. "I am ready for any contest," he said. Modi was also severe in his criticism of Congress's slogan 'Change the direction to change your condition' saying that the party's only direction was "dynasty rule".
"Only one family gets importance.... If they make someone Prime Minister, he has to go to the family before taking any decision," he said.
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