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Roadshows, door-to-door visits mark Nitin Gadkari's poll campaign

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Nagpur, Apr 1 (PTI) Seeking blessings of elders, traversing the length and breadth of the the city in roadshows and vowing to build a clean and pollution free city, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has set himself a target to win the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat by a margin of at least five lakh votes.

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Gadkari has claimed that he would not put up banners and posters across the city to seek votes for the April 19 election, but have ‘heart-to-heart’ and ‘home-to-home’ conversations with voters.

"I will follow the ideal principles of campaigning and reach out to the people and seek their blessings," Gadkari told PTI, adding that he has visited elderly voters at their homes and sought their blessings by touching their feet.

"I have set myself a target to win by at least five lakh votes. The circumstances are such and my work of the last 10 years is well known to the people," he said.

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The former BJP president is seeking a third term in the Lok Sabha from Nagpur. Gadkari defeated seven-term Lok Sabha member and Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar in the 2014 elections by a margin of nearly 2.85 lakh votes.

Gadkari polled 55.67 per cent of the total votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but his victory margin against Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole was 2.15 lakh votes.

Gadkari's challenger in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is Vikas Thakre, the Nagpur city Congress chief and a former mayor of the city.

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"I am a local leader. I know every bylane of the city and the people of the city. I know how to fight elections," Thakre told PTI.

Gadkari said he has served the people of Nagpur and it was his desire to see it emerge as a clean, beautiful and pollution-free city.

"I have served the people of Nagpur and consider them as my family. You go out and ask anyone – teaseller, roadside vendor, not one will speak ill about me," he said. Gadkari said some wrong statements were attributed to him contending that he would not campaign or seek votes for the election.

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"I had not said such a thing. I had said that I will not offer any inducements to anyone. That I will follow the ideal principles of campaigning and reach out to the people and seek their blessings," Gadkari said.

He said it was his duty to work for the development of Nagpur and ensure that the city gets the best of the facilities enjoyed by cities across the world.

"The world’s best musical fountain is in Nagpur. For the first time, a record has been created here – there is a road here, above it is a flyover and above that there is a metro rail line," he said.

Gadkari claimed that Nagpur was the first city in the world to earn Rs 300 crore by selling waste water. PTI CLS SKU SKU MNK MNK

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