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Modi starts his own yatra; Cong cries foul
March 20, 2004 13:59 IST
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday set rolling the 280 kilometre long Narmada Pujan Yatra from Ahmedabad to Sardar Sarovar dam site in Kevadia in Narmada district.
Meanwhile, the Congress shot off a letter to Chief Election Commissioner alleging blatant violation of the model code of conduct.
Modi flagged off his yatra from Odhav on city outskirts this morning and would traverse 13 villages and towns before reaching Kevadia late in the night and perform pooja of the Narmada river.
Briefly addressing people during the yatra, Modi listed the benefits due to increasing the dam height to 110 metres, the permission for which was recently given by Narmada Control Authority in New Delhi.
In Kapadvanj, the parliamentary constituency of former Gujarat Pradesh Congress chief Shankersinh Vaghela, Modi said in the past 40 years whenever Congress governments have come to power, it has always created 'roadblocks' in completion of this ambitious project.
The Congress accused BJP of trying to derive political mileage in wake of Lok Sabha polls and said, "The permission to raise the dam height was given with a condition that there should be no celebration in the name of the dam."
Dismissing BJP's argument that the yatra was a programme organised by the party, Congress spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil told PTI: "If it is so, then why is a chief minister leading the yatra along with council of ministers? He (Modi) is not an office-bearer in the state BJP. Therefore, the yatra must be led by the BJP chief or any other office-bearer."
Briefly talking to reporters along the route, Modi said the yatra was aimed at highlighting the benefits of raising the dam height, but did not respond to questions regarding the alleged violation of model code of conduct.