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‘I Have Been Indebted To People of Rajkot’: Says PM Modi During Inauguration of AIIMS Rajkot

New Delhi: In a move towards a healthy and safe India, PM Modi inaugurated five AIIMS each at Rajkot (Gujarat), Bathinda (Punjab), Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal) and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh) today. Notably, he chose Rajkot to inaugurate these institutes, as a mark of respect for the people there who elected him an MLA for the first time 22 years ago. Exactly 22 years ago on this day, PM Modi took his first-ever oath as an elected member of an assembly—four months after he was already appointed as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, as per a report by news agecny ANI.

PM Modi’s Historical Connection With Rajkot

It was on February 25, 2002, that Narendra Modi took the oath as an MLA after winning the by-election from the Rajkot II seat on February 24, 2002. Addressing an impressive gathering of people during the launch of five AIIMS, PM Modi said that “I have been indebted to the people of Rajkot for electing me as an MLA for the first time from here 22 years ago. So, in the form of AIIMS and other projects, I am repaying the debt that I owe to the people of Rajkot.”

He said that he has been in power for 22 years now, referring to the period when he started governing Gujarat as Chief Minister and the ten years of his tenure as PM. Now he is confident of getting a third term after the April-May Lok Sabha polls this year.

Electoral Journey of PM Modi

In fact, the electoral journey of Prime Minister Narendra Modi began on February 24, 2002, when he stepped into the Gujarat Assembly as an MLA for the first time. His victory in the by-election from the Rajkot II assembly constituency was quite impressive. He had won the election by a margin of 14,728 votes.

It was seen as the defining moment in PM Modi’s political career, which continued to soar higher and higher with the passage of time. He was already Chief Minister of Gujarat four months before being elected as an MLA from the Rajkot II constituency. He continued to serve the state of Gujarat as Chief Minister till he was elected Prime Minister in 2014.

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‘Modi Archive’ on X has proudly shared a video of PM Modi’s address in his constituency soon after being elected as MLA for the first time. The X handle has shared snippets that take party workers and the state of Gujarat down to memory lane when ‘Brand Modi’ was in the making.

“I had requested the residents of Rajkot to hold me tightly and not let go. They gave me marks of distinction.” These were the words of PM Modi on being elected as an MLA for the first time. he was addressing a gathering of people in his constituency. This was the beginning of the electoral history of PM Modi. He served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014.

Later that year, in the 2002 elections, Modi contested from Maninagar and won. He was reelected from Maninagar in 2007 and 2012, representing the constituency until 2014, when he became the Prime Minister.

Narendra Modi’s Victory In Rajkot, 2002

Needless to say, his victory over Rajkot II for the first time in a by-election marked the dawn of a promising era for India and the world. As CM, he ensured the speedy reconstruction and development of Gujarat, which was ravaged by massive earthquakes then.

Narendra Modi’s electoral success in Rajkot demonstrated his skills in political management and mobilisation of party cadres during the elections. He managed to boost the morale of the party workers at a time when the BJP fortunes were at their lowest ebb during the reign of Keshubhai Patel. He was the brain behind many electoral strategies and slogans that paved the way for the BJP’s massive comeback on the central political stage in the 1990s.

(With inputs from agencies)

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