BJP gains chips for Gujarat Assembly polls

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 14: In less than three months the people of Gujarat will elect a new government, as the state braces for the Assembly elections in December this year.

While the 2017 Assembly polls had gone to the wire, with the BJP bailed out by the urban votes, the dominance of the saffron outfit in the Gujarat politics is now being challenged by the Aam Admi Party, while Congress still counts on the tribal-minority vote base along with the other backward castes.

In the last state polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to heavily lean on his other backward caste credentials after the purported personal remarks of the Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer, which helped the BJP walk away with the yet another term in power in Gujarat despite spirited campaign by the Patidars.

The BJP has been in power in Gujarat since 1995. The BJP under the watch of Modi has sought to replenish the leadership in Gujarat with swift changes at the top echelons that included the post of the chief minister and even the ministers.

After Modi exited Gujarat government, the state has so far seen three chief ministers – Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani and Bhupendra Patel – in eight years. This must make it clear that the BJP in Gujarat is a Narendra Modi-laboratory.

In the fag end of the campaigning for the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, Modi had flown from the seaplane under the watchful eyes of the people of Ahmedabad at the Sabarmati Riverfront, sending the televisions to decipher the science of the small aircraft that could land on water and land for days till the people had cast their votes.

That was one singular effective electoral compound that the Narendra Modi laboratory in Gujarat had produced just ahead of the voting for the Assembly elections.

The local political observers concur that the Brand Modi still goes strong in Gujarat, which is strongly linked to the collective aspirations of the people in the state for better economic opportunities.

The billionaire Anil Agarwal has now set up the plot for the BJP in Gujarat. On Tuesday, he announced Vedanta-Foxconn plan to invest Rs 1.54 lakh crore in Gujarat to set up the semiconductor plant. By size, this must arguably be one of the biggest investment in any of the states in the country.

“This MoU is an important step accelerating India’s semi-conductor manufacturing ambitions. The investment of Rs 1.54 lakh crore will create a significant impact to boost economy and jobs. This will also create a huge ecosystem for ancillary industries and help our MSMEs,” Modi tweeted after the signing of the MoU in Gujarat.

Agarwal has claimed that the investment would translate into one lakh direct job, besides spurring people to take up works in the ancillary units to become the job creators.

That indeed given the BJP the aspirational chips ahead of the December polls to counter the challenge of the AAP and also the conventional foe, the Congress.

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