Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed his first election rally in his home state Gujarat which will go to Assembly polls next month. Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, coined a new slogan “Aa Gujarat, mai bnavyu chhe" (I have made this Gujarat) during the rally.
While predicting a massive win for the Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi, in a veiled attack on the Congress, said forces that indulged in spreading hatred and defamed Gujarat will be swept out of the state in the Assembly elections.
Gujarat will see Assembly elections in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on December 8. The state is likely to see a triangular contest with the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) entry into the fray.
If the BJP wins again, it would create a history by being in power for 32 years. Before Gujarat goes to polls, a question that has been going on in people’s minds is why the state is choosing the BJP again and again since 1995. In the last Assembly elections, the BJP won 99 seats in the 182-member assembly, giving it a clear simple majority. The Congress bagged the most seats (77) it has in the state since 1985.
Here’s are some factors why BJP is unbeatable in Gujarat in the past 27 years:
Narendra Modi’s Connection
Post the catastrophic 2001 earthquake in Gujarat’s Kutch region, then CM Narendra Modi worked relentlessly to put Kutch on the path of progress within the next decade with his multi-pronged approach. He established financial and technological parks in Gujarat and started Vibrant Gujarat Summit to invite investments. Modi is credited with changing the image of Gujarat and was instrumental to the development story of the state, a prominent factor which gave him three consecutive terms.
Gujarat’s GDP growth rate was more than of the country and the state topped ‘ease of business’ rankings among Indian states during his tenure. Modi’s ‘Gujarat Model’ was the main theme for BJP’s election campaign during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Even after he took over as the prime minister, Modi’s popularity in Gujarat never took a hit and led the BJP to win 2017 polls after a nail-biting contest with Congress. With Modi as PM, the BJP is now focusing on the ‘double engine’ government to continue with the growth trajectory.
BJP’s Election Machine
The BJP is connected to the voters in Gujarat and its strong organisation helps transforming Modi’s popularity into votes. The party has maintained its vote share throughout the elections. Modi has already made several trips to Gujarat before the announcement of poll schedule. BJP’s ‘Gaurav Yatra’ covered 144 of the 182 assembly constituencies and saw the participation of several union ministers and top leaders. The party launched such yatras in the past to connect with voters.
Gujarati Pride & Intense Campaign
PM Modi and other BJP leaders have invoked ‘Gujarati Asmita’ during the party’s campaign. The new slogan “Aa Gujarat, mai bnavyu chhe" (I have made this Gujarat) is also part of the same strategy. During his speeches in 2017 polls, PM Modi focused on Gujarati Asmita, the “son of soil” pitches and the development in Gujarat against the issues of GST and demonetisation highlighted by the Congress. PM Modi’s back to back rallies in the last elections made a critical difference and gave the BJP an edge over the other parties. With Modi and Amit Shah speaking Gujarati during his speeches, top leaders from other parties like Rahul Gandhi find it difficult to connect with the voters like the BJP.
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