Home » Modi – The Leader Gujarat can’t afford to lose

Modi – The Leader Gujarat can’t afford to lose

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 6 minutes read

By: M.R. Lalu
Narendra Modi’s undisputable stake in Gujarat politics has been a phenomenal challenge for the opposition parties, especially the Congress since 2001. The emergence of a complete party man who sprung from the grassroots as a trustworthy karyakarta with the blessings and support of the Sangh Parivar was the identity that Narendra Modi shot up his electoral success with. The BJP, in search of a saviour to pull it from the shackles of the rattling controversies and public outrage during the Keshubhai Patel administration, landed on the charisma and organisational skills of Modi who until then remained a party functionary silently toiling on the ground. Narendra Modi’s celestial makeover as a strongman of Gujarat’s power politics has not only been a turning point for Modi alone but for his party too it was a moment of reinvention. The BJP’s journey as a ruling party began in 1995 with Keshubhai Patel leading the party to victory bagging a massive 42% vote share and winning 122 seats out of the total 182. This was a phenomenal rise for a party in a state that was under the impressive hegemony of the Congress for long. The victory that the BJP was able to accrue was an effect of its Hindutva mobilisation at the primordial level with the Sangh Parivar taking the lead of a societal penetration among the rural populace systematically. 
The party’s comeback in 1998 with a whopping 47% of the electorate casting its franchise for the BJP was an indicator of the saffron identity politics gaining momentum.  After his first unsuccessful tenure as the Chief Minister, Keshubhai Patel, the powerful Patel leader was once again crowned as the Chief Minister by his party with 117 of its candidates winning the election. Events of discontent among the party cadre forced its central leadership to once again sack Mr. Patel and appoint Narendra Modi as the caretaker Chief Minister in 2001. But the Godhra train carnage and the riots that followed turned out to be the biggest event in his life as a political leader that in a later part of his life brought prospects and perils. This tragic event killed 59 Hindu pilgrims inside the Sabarmati Express as the train pulled its chains at the Godhra station and was set in flames by a radicalised mob. 27 February 2002 will be known for its horror and public outrage which had culminated with communal riots killing hundreds. That was the period the state mainly witnessed an intense political consolidation by the Hindus and the next assembly election was an acid test for Modi which he successfully passed despite criticism pouring in from all sides. His ascent to power with credible consistency can be called as the Hindutva renaissance period of Gujarat.
The Godhra train carnage and the post Godhra riots had brought Narendra Modi to a critical juncture of political upheavals. Modi was subjected to serious media trials in India and abroad. Though polarization was rampant his welfare initiatives brought smiles on all faces. The BJP under his leadership continued to bag victories in all the subsequent elections. While the party won 117 seats in 2007, it managed to retain power with 115 seats in 2012, all under the leadership of Modi. Though the Godhra riots and its harrowing effects dented his reputation temporarily he was later seen gaining acceptance among the Muslim world winning a significant chunk of its votes. The Sadbhavana Mission launched by him was particularly meant to reach out to the minority. Since his coronation as the Prime Minister, the BJP had to change its incumbent Chief Ministers thrice as the party was desperate to replicate the Modi model of governance to woo the electorate.
Eight years into the governance of the world’s largest democracy, Narendra Modi has successfully managed to maintain his popularity in India and across the globe. This has been seen as a result of his personal charisma and the diplomatic initiatives of his government. Branding and moulding Hindutva as his prime motivation to create a political momentum favouring him, Narendra Modi has been enjoying the support of a large population of the Hindu majority.  Political gimmickry of Arvind Kejriwal does not seem to be gaining currency as such. But as a lesser contender to Modi in the state of Gujarat, the Kejriwal and company would definitely manage to increase their vote share. The three way contest the surveys have already predicted it as, the election in the Modi turf, would be a fascinating event the pundits would make their astrological calculations for. But a real sense of political analysis is sure to enlighten you with the chances of prospects that the BJP is bound to grab.
 What makes the unusual Kejriwal a subject of intuition and an analogy of prediction is his audacity. Gaining power in two states and slowly inching for more and more areas, the IIT alumnus knows the essence and effect of the weight that Modi can throw for a compulsory win in Gujarat. To those who burnt their fingers in the fire of the Modi stardom and to the fence sitters, the consistent elevation of Kejriwal as an opponent to Modi on a national frame is a moment to cherish and a dream to flourish. The uproar that the India against Corruption hit India’s politically unfenced shore was more powerful than the force that the Modi wave shook India in 2014. In a tussle between the Hindutva of Modi and the Hindutva of Kejriwal, chances are rare for the majority community to spell a split verdict in Gujarat. 
Modi’s eminence should not be trim-sized as an outcome of his majoritarian appeasement alone. His initiatives in the direction of changing the future of India have been widely acknowledged and his second innings was an established referendum for the man in him with an unquestionable honesty. His exuberance as a leader knows the ways to carry out his humility on his global ascent to the last echelon of the society. Probably he is the only leader who failed his critics and their speculations on his popularity rankings and still ascending the ladder of fame. He has managed to jettison the rest of the clan in Indian politics and gained a symbolic paramountcy as a complete nationalist. BJP’s failure in Gujarat will be a terrible setback for Modi and the fact of the matter is that the state cannot afford to fail the man who almost transformed it to what it is today. Bubbles of dissent, if any, would burst and disappear in Modi’s Gujarat and it seems the state would repeat its previous result giving its tallest leader a reason for a hearty smile.
(The author is a Freelance Journalist/ Social Worker)

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


©2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Hosted by eManipur!

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.