The event covered towns like 2002 ground zero Godhra, Kutiyana in Porbandar where BJP is pitted against NCP candidate from the Godmother clan, Kandhal Jadeja, Bapunagar, which is the stronghold of Leuva Patel community from Saurashtra, Mansa in Gandhinagar, a seat wrested by the Congress in the last by-election and Borsad in Anand district, a seat that the BJP has never won.
Modi said, “In any of its poll advertisements, Congress would put up the picture of its leaders, starting with Pandit Nehru, Indiraji, Rahul Gandhi, Soniaji...but there is not a single advertisement in Gujarat where any of these leaders appear on. For the first time in 60 years has this happened - something that political pundits have not noticed - that Congress poll advertisement does not have photo of any of these leaders. Why? Why has Congress withdrawn its leaders? Because it is accepting that there is no face to show to the public of Gujarat”, as the crowd on Godhra’s Lal Baug ground, cheered.
He said, “Rahul Gandhi had camped in Uttar Pradesh for a year to prepare for the polls there, but the people finished Congress. Now Congress leaders do not dare to come here because they are worried that if the party is defeated, they would not be there to be blamed.”
In most places people turned up to watch the 3D effect. “This was the first time I ever saw the 3D technology. The fact that he addressed at 52 places through technology is a matter of pride for Gujarat,” said young Maqbool Patel in Godhra.
At Borsad and Bapunagar, a good number of children turned up excited, some came with entire families, missing their tele soaps, to hear Modi.
“No serials today, we will watch Modi,” says Sadhnaben Patel, housewife and resident of Bapunagar.
At Borsad, it was a different scene. “BJP has not made special effort to wrest Borsad from Congress. This is evident that it does not have a permanent office in the taluka till date. Due to not having an office, people cannot approach local leaders to get their problems solved. Therefore, there is a kind of disconnect between the party and people here,” said Mehul Thakkar, a private teacher in the town and a BJP supporter.
Daxes Patel, owner of a medical store in the town, came to the JD Patel college ground where the stage was set in Borsad, with wife and 16-year-old son Deep. “I am a fan of Modi and love to hear him. But the 3D technology was the biggest draw,” said Deep, a science student of Class XI.
Local BJP leaders agree that they have always struggled here but are banking on Modi magic. “Residents in this region did not know what was development. However, Modi has promised houses, roads and electricity. We are campaigning hard and the delimitation would help us,” said Rajesh Patel, president of Borsad taluka BJP unit.