Excerpts from a translation of an audio recording of the speech, courtesy NDTV and Indian Express
Power hungry people are out to defame Gujarat. At such a time, the five crore people of Gujarat will gain strength from the blessings of Becharaji to build tomorrow’s glorious Gujarat.
We are dubbed Hinduwadi because we have allocated Rs eight crore towards the development of Becharaji. Is it our fault? Are we communal?
The Congress also accuses me of bringing the Narmada waters to the Sabarmati river in the month of Shravan. But the dam has already been built… I want to ask the Congress, why do you object if people on the banks of the Sabarmati derive spiritual peace through the Narmada waters brought in the month of Shravan? When you come to power, you are free to bring water during Ramzan.
When we allocate funds for Becharaji, they do not like it. And if we bring Narmada waters in the month of Shravan, then too they say they dislike it. So what should we do? Do we go and run relief camps? Should we open child producing centres?
We want to firmly implement family planning. Hum paanch, humare pachees (We five, our 25) (laughs). Who will benefit from this development? Is family planning not necessary in Gujarat? Where does religion come in its way? Where does community come in its way?
The population is rising in Gujarat, money isn’t reaching the poor? What’s the reason? They make a beeline, fix cycle punctures (Audience laughs).
If Gujarat is to be developed, then an economic system has to be developed where every child born in Gujarat gets education, manners and employment. And for this, those who are multiplying population at a rapid rate will need to learn a lesson. If we object to population growth, then too they dislike it. Will someone please tell me is there any (such) country in the world? Is there BJP rule in China? Yet, China has enacted laws to control population growth. Arrey, what does religion have to do with this?
We talk of madrasas. Madrasas have flourished in Gujarat. A child has a right to primary education. But a child going to a madrasa is deprived of primary education. What will such a child do once he grows up?
Those who have got no education, and got only religious education, would they not become a burden on Gujarat?
We started thinking about madrasas in Gujarat. When we express concern over madrasas, they call us communal. Why? The Communist government in West Bengal applies laws in madrasas, curbs their activities, and it is still secular? And if we try to regulate madrasas in Gujarat, we are dubbed as communal? After all, any institution has to be regulated.
If Gujarat needs peace, a long-term plan has to be drawn. The merchants of death will not be allowed to run their activities in Gujarat as they like.
And as I sit here at this seat of strength, standing at the feet of mother Becharaji, I want to assure you that the high seat (of power) may go today or tomorrow, but I will not allow the merchants of death who want to destroy Gujarat and harass the innocents to settle here.
Gujarat needs prosperity, it needs peace. Gujarat is forging ahead on the unity and strength of its five crore people. The days are gone when Dawood Ibrahim sitting in Karachi could instruct the merchants of death here and Gujarat could be set on fire. We will not allow this.
What for? For power? Power may go today or tomorrow. We have not applied Fevicol on the chair. We are sitting at the feet of the people of Gujarat. If people feel we are performing, they will welcome us, otherwise they will throw us out.
If the Congress is afraid of going to the people, then they should come out openly and say that since they are sure of their defeat, the election should be delayed. Indira Gandhi had done it too. You do it, who’s stopping you?
But no, they abuse Gujarat and Gujaratis instead. If you abuse Gujarat, that is not acceptable to us. Come out openly and give us a fight if you are strong enough. Why do you escape instead?
It is I who has been defamed. Yet, I am ready to go to the people. You go straight to Italy, plead with the Election Commission to stop polls. But we are not like you, we are proud of approaching the people. We take pride in applying the dust from people’s feet onto our foreheads.
Italy’s daughter has insulted Gujarat and its five crore people. The land of Sardar Patel is insulted. This has got to be explained. Sanjay (Gandhi) was only Maneka’s husband. Yet, it is hissamadhi that lies in Delhi, not that of Sardar Patel. The Congress is out to erase Sardar Patel’s name, but beware.
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