BJP deserves big Kudos for retaining Vijay Rupani and Nitin Patel as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat who are known to be soft-spoken and an able administrator; Rupani was chosen to take the reins in July 2016, when then chief minister Anandiben Patel resigned. Rupani is known as an Amit Shah loyalist and his name was cleared only after a green signal from PM Modi.
The party’s victory in Gujarat, albeit with a much reduced margin than last time had fuelled speculation that there might be a change in Chief Minister for this term but what weighed in Mr Rupani’s favour was the fact that he had been given a short time of around a year and a half to be at the helm of affairs and at a time when the party was facing a severe challenge from the Patidar agitation and a looming election. Rupani has rightly said that BJP’s victory in the assembly elections showed people’s “unshakable faith in the agenda of development, caste-less and classless society”. Known to be close to both Amit Shah and Modi, Rupani began his political career as an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader and then graduated to the corporation politics in Saurashtra and especially Rajkot. Rupani has a good understanding of urban issues. Known to be cast in the RSS mould, Rupani is a leader who strongly believes that there has to be a Hindutva backdrop to every political action.
There is no doubt that Rupani will continue to be on test under the keen eyes of the Modi-Shah combine. Therefore, Rupani will have a tough task to be achieved with strong opposition led by the Congress in implementing the developmental programmes of his Govt. People of Gujarat are proud of recent developments in Ahmedabad and Gujarat for making it a heritage city. The metro will now add a colour to state and benefit people and shed of traffic jams and pollution in the heritage city.
He has assured the people of the State that he would bring about ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’ (Collective effort for the development of all) under his leadership. The people of Gujarat have showed confidence in his administration with an increased vote share. There is no doubt that Rupani government will work for all irrespective of political differences.
Rupani should not neglect the disgruntled electorate of Gujarat and should take steps to assure the farming community as well as increase employment opportunities to youth. As assured, in the next five years, his priority is to double farm income. For this, the focus will have to be on how irrigation water from the Narmada can be provided to Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat. The SAUNI project that seeks to provide connectivity to 115 dams has been conceived. His government will have to step up drive to attract investment in various sectors. Rupani has rightly said that “Gujarat will become a role model for other states when it comes to development”. As assured, Rupani will leave no stone unturned in further developing the state, which the party has ruled since 1995.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)