CAN MODI SAVE GU­JARAT?

India Today - - INSIDE -

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

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