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Gujarat Elections 2007
A day before formally assuming charge as Gujarat chief minister for the third consecutive term, Narendra Modi [Images] on Monday charted out "the path of progress" that he planned to tread in the next five years.
Addressing a large number of Bharatiya Janata Party workers and supporters, who had gathered to celebrate the party's poll victory at the party headquarters in Khanpur, Modi said, "The festival of elections is over, but the festival of progress has begun."
"In the coming days, I want to increase the pace of progress", Modi said adding he wanted the benefit of development to reach all those living in the state.
"I want the gap between rural and urban areas to diminish", Modi said in a speech wherein it appeared that the fiery campaigner visible in the recent assembly elections had completely shelved his Hindutva agenda.
"By the end of 2008, all the 18,000 villages in the state will have all the facilities present in the chief minister's chamber," Modi claimed adding, he will provide information Technology connectivity to the rural areas of Gujarat.
"Gujarat will become the first place in Asia where villages will have IT connectivity," Modi said adding long-distance education, video conferencing facilities will be made available in the state.
Continuing to speak about development, Modi said his government will extend the reach of surface water (for drinking and irrigation purposes) to different parts of the state, improve education and "reduce the gap between people and government".
Modi also went on say that his government will work towards betterment of the backward and weaker sections of the society.
"I do not know whether I will be able to fulfill all this work, but I assure you that my attempts will be in that direction," he said.
"The elections are over and there will be no distinction between any of the 5.5 crore people of Gujarat," Modi said.
Modi also spoke about his proposal to the Delhi government about creating a separate "intelligence-cadre" and an university for developing the man-power needed for the internal security of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, senior BJP leader Venkiah Naidu said several BJP leaders from New Delhi will be in Gujarat to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony.
Looking back at the Gujarat assembly elections, Naidu said, "Congress has repeated the mistakes they made in 2002."
"They ran a vicious campaign against Modi," he said adding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] had even advocated re-opening of the post-Godhra riot cases if the Congress came to power.
"The victory in Gujarat will (adversely) affect the government at the Centre," Naidu said adding, people want a change even at the Centre.
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