The Gujarat elections will be an important indicator of the things to come in the future. The Indian Express today carried a brilliant piece of Gujarat election by Christophe Jaffrelot and Kalaiyarasan. It is an interesting socio-economic analysis of Patels and their current political situation, but most importantly, it shows the changing dynamics with the castes and inter-caste. We may have to factor in these changing factors within the castes and also inter-castes and how that affects the politics in India.
However, the most interesting case in the upcoming election is the emerging rhetoric of development and its counterargument development gone crazy. The BJP is ruling the state of Gujarat for several decades and Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat before he became the Prime Minister of India.
The election is his personal test and will indicate the shape of the things to emerge in the future. Modi is set to visit Gujarat more often before the elections that there is the talk of shifting his PM Office in Gujarat itself.
He launched Rs. 11000 crores worth of populist schemes in Gujarat. The Ro-Ro ferry that inaugurated looks like stopped for a while because of the “technical” issues. He is on the inauguration round. Such was the fury and hurry that the EC stepped in not to announce the dates of the elections in Gujarat.
But there is something that is more draconian in the statements being made by the PM directly. One of the statements that remarkably stand out is this: the states which oppose the development will get zero money from the central government.
So, Modi is giving the direct threat to the people of Gujarat. If you oppose “development”, that means, the BJP, while he is the PM, he will not allocate any money to Gujarat. He should understand that he is not the BJP leader but the Prime Minister and he must speak responsibly.
The public office should not be used to gain “party” or “personal” gains. This is no less than the corruption and that to corruption at its worst.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale