Vote and watch in Gujarat – Priti Jain

Accusations, allegations, denunciation, vituperation and defamations shun our politicians to the greatest abyss of their careers. They are highly talked about in the media, their parties become busy cleaning their mess up and they start measuring their words before speaking in public. And when the elections are nearing be it regional or national the action is manifold.

With the upcoming elections in the state of Gujarat, taking place in two phases on the 13th and the 17th of December, the political one upping is in full swing. The popularity of the Modi government has been castigating the ill-efforts of the Congress party for a decade now. His new technological sprint in the form of 3D speeches and Google+ talks with the common man has certainly given him an edge over the opposition. No doubt this received a mixed response but somewhere down the line his experimentation is commendable. The congress may scream all it wants, disgracing him as a distant politician having no time for direct contact with the people; things are changing, unlike the wasteful tactics of Congress. If they believe in the mettle of direct contact, why have they been unable in stirring the masses?

Narendra Modi has won over all the business tycoons and turned his state into an industrial haven. His state being greatly dependent on the agricultural and manufacturing sector, he took the right step in bringing in investment opportunities. Gujarat is a businessman’s land, so inviting potential investments is simply sustaining the statehood of Gujarat. Leadership can never be confined to giving speeches and setting goals, being an opportunist is equally important. A conventional economic model does not allow a state to continually depend on its primary and secondary sector. An increase in the tertiary sector is an indicator of development and growth. Modi did realize the urgent need to shift to this sector. The main and the only problem then becomes the inevitable prioritization of the latter. The failure lies in the balancing act. India itself has failed in the commensuration of the former sectors; let alone Gujarat. For one to be happy, the other person automatically has to be sad, so then what is this inclusive growth that everybody exclusively talks about? If we go theoretically, this can never happen and practically we haven’t succeeded yet.

The social conditions of Gujarat are still grim. The riots of 2002 have left a deep blotch on the vindicating capacity of the Modi government. The whistleblowers in Gujarat are not safe, especially those who point fingers at their Chief Minister. The whistleblowers going against even a wing or organ of a governmental organization are not spared; he’ll be a fool to even think of surviving peacefully after attacking the government itself. The minorities are never safe in this huge world whereas Gujarat is just a tiny drop in this biased globe. The Muslims in Gujarat dominated the textile and trading sector pre-riots, now they are minorities there as well.  This becomes an area where the Congress can truthfully portrait the real development in the inhumane conditions. Yet again, they got caught in their own copy-paste blunder. Showcasing the malnourished and the deprived from Sri Lanka and Rajasthan in their Gujarat campaigns scathing the governments’ failed social policies backfired. Even though their statistics might’ve been true their laziness in getting themselves to work genuinely towards being an effective opposition played against them; another example of their wastefully lost opportunity.

It’s hard to say whether we need a change of a ruling party either at the centre or the regional levels. Congress has been in power at the centre for a long time now; the same is true for BJP in Gujarat. Both centre and state face the problem of incompetent opposition, though the ruling parties may have become quasi-autocratic their alternatives are less promising. The nation is in a dire state of affairs, a swap at the centre would be desirable, given that the opposition can handle their own allies. Handling the allies seems less probable as BJP cannot handle its own party interests. If Modi becomes their Prime Minister candidate then Gujarat will lose its messiah, if Nitish Kumar gets chosen, BJP will get busy mollycoddling Modi.

Nothing can be said about the national elections as of yet but we can be certain that nothing unexpected is plausible in the Gujarat polls. They have the smooth functioning of the BRTS buses, movement of the Narmada water to Saurashtra, advent of investment, increased agricultural production and much more in their pockets.  Modi’s indifferential attitude towards the alleviation and amelioration of the Muslim minority has left little confidence in mitigating their concerns. They can only hope for a better future, either in the BJP regime or Congress, which will be known soon.

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