Kamal Morarka

Alarm bell sounded for BJP in Gujarat

Posted by Kamal Morarka Blog
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bjp-raillyNot much is happening these days. Impending Gujarat election is in the news. Rahul Gandhi got a reception in Gujarat which the best of his supporters could not have expected. It is not that he suddenly has become popular in Gujarat, but it is due to the disenchantment with the BJP for various reasons. It is also evident in the speeches of the Gujarat leaders particularly Narendra Modi, when he has now taken the whole thing on himself; and whatever he means when he says “I am development, I am this, I am that”, apart from smell of arrogance it certainly does not serve the purpose. The people want now to know the figures – how many new industries have come, how much more employment has been created, what are your future plans? There is really no answer to these questions. Under Make in India initiative no large industry has come up in any part of the country, not even in Gujarat. All that just translated into frustration and that is why anti-incumbency comes to the fore and other opposition leaders get reception.

The RSS has made some internal survey which showed that the BJP will find it tough in Gujarat. As a result of that, the RSS leader in his Vijya Dashami Speech saying unless we reduce the stress on the small traders and small businessmen as the result of the GST, thing will be bad. Immediately the government took steps to reduce the rigors of the GST by reducing procedure of filing returns, etc. It is an ongoing thing. But all in all there is an alarm bell for the BJP. They should probably be careful.

Over the next few weeks we have to see what is happening, because a tell-a-tale sign is that if in a place called Chotila in Rajkot (Gujarat) when Modi is speaking and audience start leaving, it is not good sign for him. Yogi Adityanath thinks he can be one up on Modi and goes to Gujarat and Kerala and all probably at Amit Shah’s bidding, but Yogi Adityanath is not getting good audience anywhere. It will be sensible to note that you cannot revive religious fervor by a Yogi with fancy dress of a Yogi and if he tries to save Hindutva by running down the Taj Mahal, running down all Mughals, running down Khilji without knowing who are the Khiljis, who are the Mughals and who are the Lodis? India has come far-far ahead in the last 70 years to take it back to where people like Yogi wants to take it back; it is not possible.

Modi started on a very different note and the country has great hopes with him three years ago, but either the RSS ideology has overwhelmed him or his own overconfidence has created a mishmash or both. Demonetization and the way GST has been suddenly sprung with so many forms and returns have definitely affected the average businessman. One reason is the average businessman, which means from a Kirana (provision) store to a small fellow there are 5 crore businessmen in the country. If each businessman supports 4-5 persons, then 20 crore votes hang on this section of population alone. So, mere rhetoric cannot win the BJP the next election. He has to ease the stress of this class, which is not very influential but their number will be quite influential when it comes to votes.

The other news was that in the Global Hunger Index we have come down from 55 to 100. It is worse than the badly governed countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, etc. Of course this has not happened in a day, but you should have worked hard on the Food Security Act which was passed during UPA regime. After all the overall DGP gives one figure but the content is important and in a country like India where there are pockets where there is prosperity while there are pockets where there is devastating hunger, devastating debilitating even in day-to-day living that needs to be address. We do not know what the government is doing, and more importantly, what the NITI Ayog is doing? After all NITI Ayog is supposed be a think tank to think over these matters. Public is in dark as to what is happening? Let us hope signals are reaching the government.

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