rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Narendra Modi at the doorsteps of New Delhi

Narendra Modi at the doorsteps of New Delhi

Last updated on: December 20, 2012 17:50 IST

Narendra Modi at the doorsteps of New Delhi

     Next

Next
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

A 125-plus verdict would have given Narendra Modi automatic advantage to move to New Delhi. But now he will maneuver his way because the third consecutive victory makes him more impatient than ever, says Sheela Bhatt.

Gujaratis have used the electoral machinery judiciously and intelligently to give what is due to Gujarat's hero, Narendra Modi.

The third consecutive victory is by all yardsticks a superb achievement. All sections of society have given the Bharatiya Janata Party their votes.

Except in north Gujarat, the BJP seems to have not lost much anywhere. The emphatic victory is because of the urban middle class's identification with Modi and Modi's identification with them.

However, Gujarati voters gave Modi exactly what he deserved and refused to allow him to be in the league of the Congress' Madhavsinh Solanki who won 149 assembly seats in 1985 on the basis of the KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi, Muslim) theory conceived by party strategist Jinabhai Darji.

The hyped expectations will slow Modi down for some time, but it won't restrict his ambitions.

In Gujarat, even smaller towns have an urban sensibility and rural areas are increasingly coming under the influence of the urban ethos. Modi has reaped the benefits of the urbanisation of Gujarat once again.

But Gujaratis have not given Modi enough to make him the BJP's 'undeclared' prime ministerial candidate too soon. The Congress party has lost disgracefully, but somewhere its strategy has worked in not giving Modi 'open skies' as Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: BJP leader L K Advani with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

     Next

Modi the victor has been trapped by the voters' verdict

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The hype around Modi has been belied by a complex verdict. Modi the victor has been trapped by the voters' verdict. He has fallen victim to the web of hype, exaggeration, hard sell that he wove around his personality.

His party's boast of getting 151 seats has impacted Thursday's celebration.

Modi has become larger-than-life, but the verdict is one where Gujaratis have gained more than Modi.

The verdict favours the people of Gujarat and they are saying, 'Narendrabhai amari seva karo! Delhi javani haji vaar che! (Narendrabhai, please serve us! There is still time to shift to Delhi!)'

The voters are saying: 'We want Modi. He gives us a peaceful and safe atmosphere to earn our roji-roti (work and food), he gives us a sense of strength by his vision of development and he raises hopes for a promising future.'

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: A BJP/Modi supporter distributes sweets in Hyderabad celebrating the victory in Gujarat
Photographs: Snapsindia

Prev     Next

Modi exaggerated his strengths, Congress exaggerated Modi's weaknesses

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Voters have not given Modi bountiful votes to cross the psychological hurdle of earning significantly more than 125 seats that the BJP itself declared as its goal this time.

Delhi's political set-up would have experienced tremors had Modi won above 125 seats. Modi did not leave any stone unturned to get it -- he went on Google Hangout, used 3D technology and spent millions of rupees to project himself.

He did everything within his command to market himself so that he could move on to the next stage of leadership, but intelligent Gujarati voters applied the brakes on exaggeration.

Modi exaggerated his strengths and the Congress exaggerated Modi's weaknesses. Now voters have chosen Modi with a caveat. They have given him power because they want to get on with life.

The BJP's losses carry the message that all was not well with Modi's governance.

At same time they have given a clear signal that 'anti-Congressism' is alive in Gujarat and they have shown contempt for Congress leaders by kicking out of the political arena veterans like Arjun Modhwadia (Porbandar), Shaktisinh Gohil (Bhavnagar), Kunvarjee Bawalia (Botad) and Sidhartha Patel (Dabhoi).

The entire range of the Congress and BJP leadership, cutting across castes and class, has been wiped out for the next five years.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Celebrations in Ahmedabad after the BJP's victory
Photographs: Reuben NV/Rediff.com

Prev     Next

Modi used cash transfer scheme efficiently to his political advantage

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Modi's Home Minister Praful Patel, Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani, Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas and Minister of Social Welfare Fakirbhai Vaghela all lost the election.

More ministers would have lost had they not been helped by Modi when he declared on the election campaign, 'Don't look at your candidate, look at me!'

What he actually meant was 'Ignore the taint on them, ignore their corruption and give me your vote.'

Modi's day has been made by two trends. First, Saurashtra has rejected outright the caste card of the Leuva-Patel community. The Patels were divided, but the division of votes harmed the Congress more than the BJP and helped Modi in a big way.

Second, cash transfers to tribals contributed handsomely to Modi's victory. Modi has used the cash transfer scheme efficiently to his political advantage.

Much before Finance Minister P Chidambaram boasted about it, the Modi government transferred more than Rs 900 crore (Rs 9 billion) to poor people all over Gujarat.

Modi concentrated heavily on the southern tribal belt. He appropriated the entire credit for the scheme by organising garib melas and won over the tribals.

The BJP lost Sanand where Modi gave land and huge benefits to the Tatas to produce Nano cars. But it says something for Modi's development model that the BJP has won in tribal areas where cash was disbursed without being awarded Nano-type of factories.

Modi's government distributed benefits worth millions of rupees to around 10 million poor Gujaratis through hundreds of garib melas so far.

This suggests that in coming days one will see a change in Modi's model of development.

The BJP has lost less-than-expected seats in Saurashtra, but it has lost its tight grip on north Gujarat and gained in south Gujarat. In central Gujarat it has more or less remained at the same level as it did in the 2007 election.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Narendra Modi during the campaign


Prev     Next

Election result a 'faida no saudo' for Gujarati voters

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It was known that there was an anti-incumbency feeling against the Modi government in Saurashtra.

Modi countered it by non-Patel (anti-Patel emotion was not raised to ensure that the BJP's Patel candidates didn't suffer) mobilisation in the BJP's favour by organising the Vivekanand Yatra to keep the youth on his side and by injecting energy in the administration in tribal areas.

Urban Gujarat, by using middle-class dadagiri to dominate Modi's agenda, helped. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. Modi favours Urban Gujarat in his development agenda and middle-class Gujaratis give him votes.

At the time of writing, the final results have not arrived, but it is a wonderful result delivered by Gujarati voters. They know best what is good for them. This is a 'faida no saudo (a profitable deal)', as typical Gujarati voters see it.

The less than 125-plus seats means Modi will be compelled to concentrate on Gujarat for some time. Thursday's mandate will give Modi food for thought. He presided over a cabinet, many of whose members have been rejected ruthlessly by voters. It is certainly a reflection on the BJP under Modi in Gujarat.

But Modi won unqualified success in crushing the Congress' efforts to stand and be counted in Gujarat after two decades. This will worry Congress leaders in New Delhi.

There remains no doubt that Modi has won in spite of anti-incumbency against many of his party's candidates and the fact that the Hindutva card was absent. This gives him the edge which he did not have even in his 2002 and 2007 victories.

One should not have any doubt that Narendra Modi is at the doorsteps of New Delhi. A 125-plus verdict would have given him automatic advantage, right away.

Now Modi will maneuver his way because the third consecutive victory will make him more impatient than ever.

Please click NEXT to see more Gujarat election features...


Image: Women queue to cast their ballots in Sanand, a seat the BJP lost despite the industrialisation there
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

Prev     Next

More Gujarat Election features...

Prev     More

Please click MORE to read an interesting analysis of Verdict 2012...



Tags: MORE

Prev     More