CAN MODI SAVE GUJARAT?
With the assembly elections looking more close than ever, it’s all up to PM Narendra Modi’s charisma now, to win over the Gujaratis for the BJP
s news about the BJP’s triumph in Uttar Pradesh’s civic elections started trickling in on December 1, some of the dim faces at the BJP media centre on Ahmedabad’s busy S-G highway started brightening. The average BJP worker in Gujarat has not had too much to cheer about of late, fighting anti-incumbency and charges of arrogance levelled by the opposition Congress and the troika of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani.
A day later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too looked more upbeat. Of course, south Gujarat is home base, one of the party’s strongest regions while it is precariously placed in Saurashtra, north and central Gujarat except in some urban pockets. Cries of ‘Modi, Modi’ rend the air as he recites familiar themes—the Congress playing divisive politics, development figures under BJP rule, the bullet train brouhaha, local issues of the Bharuch district. There is even an attempt to placate the Muslims: “Two districts that have seen the maximum development are Kutch and Bharuch which have the highest Muslim populations in Gujarat,” he says. Clearly, Modi looks in full control of his election