Gujarat is the only state where the party has never lost an Assembly election after first coming to power in 1995. In the 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2012 polls, its vote share was over 40 per cent and seat tally more than 110. Our PM Modi is a fighter and a decisive leader. Modi started a huge exercise to market Gujarat as a preferred destination for business and investment.
The two main rival parties also tried to counter each other on social media, as the Congress and its supporters launched the campaign “Vikas Gando Thayo Che” (development has gone crazy), while the BJP launched a counter drive of “I am development, I am Gujarat”.
BJP successfully occupied the space of a regional party in the state. Congress strategy is still made in Delhi. No regional party has succeeded in winning more than one or, at the most, two terms in Gujarat. Most attempts to create regional parties were short-lived. The people of Gujarat have rejected those who tried to divide us in the name of caste.
The rise of Modi as a polarising figure after the Gujarat riots enabled him to develop a strong regionalist stance, expressed by a continuous confrontational attitude towards Delhi. The BJP, however, has considerable advantages by virtue of power at the Centre and the PM’s appeal. Campaigning was especially fierce in Gujarat, where development issues gave way to personal attacks in the closing days of the election. The Congress had hoped to ride on the support of the Patidar community, who are seemingly angry with the BJP over denial of quotas, and discontent among some sections over the Goods and Services Tax.
But even after 28 years if BJP wins 99 seats, it is a significant achievement showing no defeat for the past 28 years. Modi is an awe inspiring being, he is closest to our soil, his family reminds us of the sacrifices and honesty people have bestowed for their Mother India. He has done many works in his three-year tenure and took many brave steps to make India parallel globally as we can see how bravely he handled the recent issues with China. There is no doubt that Modi has great feelings to put India in first three of the world. He believes in doing what he speaks.
BJP’s massive victory clearly indicates that the electorate is rewarding good governance instead. It is time for India to move ahead and see off the Congress Party, which has ruled for most of the time since independence and yet has not got rid of abject poverty nor provided decent education, infrastructure and dignity to most Indians. The BJP has a very tough road ahead – the sooner it hits the ground running the better. Modi’s tenure as the PM promises to be even more challenging and it is now expected that he puts the politician behind and allows the statesman rise. Today Modi remains the most polarising figure in Indian politics.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)