'Am Repaying Debt That I Owe To Rajkot's People', Says PM Modi, Citing Election As MLA In 2002


(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated five AIIMS each at Rajkot (Gujarat), Bathinda (Punjab), Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal) and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh). He chose Rajkot to inaugurate these institutes, obviously 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.

It was on February 25, 2002 that Narendra Modi took oath as an MLA after winning the by-election from 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 tenure as PM. Now he is confident of getting a third term after the April-May Lok Sabha polls this year.

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 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 Rajkot II constituency. He continued to serve the state of Gujarat as Chief Minister till he was elected Prime Minister in 2014.

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

Needless to say, his victory from 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 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 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 at the central political stage in the 1990s.

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