Narendra Modi ruled the state of Gujarat as its chief minister for three consecutive terms – almost 14 years. He may be blamed for a number of things - and rightly - but it is hard to deny that he put Gujarat on the road to economic progress. A number of development schemes were initiated and Gujarat’s gross domestic product grew by over 12 percent between 2007 and 2012. When Modi ran for the prime ministerial slot, he designed his entire election campaign around his ‘Gujarat Model’. Such was the appeal of this success story that today Modi is the prime minister of India. Although his term was not without its share of controversies, the biggest blemish on his reputation being the Gujarat riots, in the end what mattered was the fact that the quality of life of all Gujaratis, Hindus and Muslims, improved during his rule.
The PTI’s dharna in Islamabad reminded me of Modi’s example and I couldn’t help compare the PTI’s victory in elections, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where it succeeded in forming a government, to Modi’s rise to power. The PTI could have governed KPK in such a manner as to make it a role model of good governance for the entire country. Then, it could have used its success in KPK to gain votes from all over the country in the next elections. But what transpired in the last few days confirms that the PTI has clearly lost the opportunity. A sad day, indeed, for all those who were hopeful for a positive change in the country.
Abdul Muqeet Arain