Opinions

Here is why Gujarat will not elect Congress to power again

Let me make this clear: no matter which government is in power in Gujarat, the state will not only survive but flourish. It is the people of Gujarat who have contributed to the prosperity of the state, not despite the adversities, but even because of it. It is the survival instincts that have kicked in decades ago due to various natural and political upheavals in the state.

Having said that, the state was ‘surviving’ till three decades back. Every Gujarati aspired to move to Mumbai for a better future. Gujarat’s fortunes turned around in mid-90s when the BJP came to power. The working middle class could see the improvement in the utilities and services for the taxes they were paying. Some were visible, like the roads, the quality of electricity, others were invisible, but apparent, like lack of communal riots, strikes.

Gujaratis are very proud of their heritage. They are proud of the resilience. That every time Mahmood Ghazni invaded and looted Somnath, the temple was constructed right back up. They are proud that the freedom movement had its roots here, so did the Emergency. That a common man from Gujarat not only led India to freedom, a common man from Gujarat also toppled the central government leading to an extremely dynamic political system in India.

Hence, anyone would be stupid to think that they can take Gujarat for granted and win the state, politically, on rhetorics. The BJP is in power in Gujarat not because “Gujaratis are communal” but because Gujarat witnessed the history where the current Opposition flared violence for ‘minority appeasement’ in the 80s.The first half of the 1980s saw some of the worst inter-caste riots in Gujarat, which quickly escalated to communal riots. There was rise of crime, including bootlegging and don-wars. Don Latif flourished his bootlegging business, and getting rid of anti-social elements like Latif was the plank BJP used in 1995 which brought them to power.

What about 2002? Well, isn’t the fact that not a single incident of communal violence has broken in the state since February 2002 a testimonial to the fact that peace has by and large prevailed in the state? Congress President Sonia Gandhi once referred to the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi as ‘maut ka saudagar’, while forgetting the fact that it was indeed Congress ruled neighbouring states who refused to help Gujarat which need all the held it could get to bring violence under control.

 

Ashok Gehlot of Congress, whose brother Agrasain Gehlot who is in the eye of the fertilizer scam, was the chief minister of Rajasthan. Digvijaya Singh of Congress, who tries to play divisive caste politics, was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Vilasrao Deshmukh of Congress was the chief minister of Maharashtra was the only one who sent bare minimum personnel to help.

Speaking of lack of help and support of neighbouring Congress ruled states in Gujarat, the UPA at Centre also was extremely partial and unjust towards Gujarat which kept Gujarat deprived of Narmada water by sitting on the Sardar Sarovar dam height for years because the Congress government in the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra felt they were at ‘disadvantage’, not realising that the same Narmada water will bring irrigation and drinking water even to their states along with providing electricity.

Finally, in June 2014, a month after Prime Minister Modi swore in, the final approval came which breathed a new life in the project. At last in June 2017, the project whose foundation was laid in 1961 by then Prime Minister Nehru, was inaugurated by now Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Despite this, our former economist Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who headed the UPA government for ten years, lied about then chief minister Modi meeting him about the dam.

Gujarat, especially Kutch and Saurashtra will never be able to forgive Congress for keeping them parched and thirsty for years by sitting over the dam and not providing them with water. Talking about injustice by the UPA led central government against Gujarat and Gujaratis also led Gujarat government to lose about Rs. 10,000 crore revenue in form of petroleum royalty.

The hate for Gujarat is so deep rooted in the minds of Congress leaders that in 2013, the power ministry in UPA government canceled out felicitation ceremony when they saw 3 out of 4 discoms were from Gujarat.

A generation of first time voters have never seen a non-BJP government in the state. But, they have also seen the development which Congress mocks at every given opportunity. They can read through the lies because they no longer rely on propagandists masquerading as journalists to get their news. Social media is a dynamic medium. This is the most exciting time to be politically aware and participate in nation building.

That is why Gujarat will never vote Congress back to power.

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