Ajith Vijay Kumar
As expected Narendra Modi secured yet another decisive victory in Gujarat assembly elections 2012 on Thursday. The BJP winning 120 seats approximately surely will propel him to the national stage, but here’s a look at the factors that played a role in his victory.
Development agenda: Narendra Modi has been highlighting development in the state under his rule. While it is true that the Gujarat does not rank high on several social indicators, industrial development has indeed gathered pace across the state in the last decade.
Darling of Urban middle class: One clear trend that has emerged is the overwhelming support Modi has secured in urban Gujarat. It is a near clean sweep across major cities for the BJP. However, it also highlights that the rural voter does not share the enthusiasm of urban Gujarat towards Modi’s ‘Vibrant Gujarat’.
Weak Congress: The Congress is in shambles. The tragedy is amplified as top state leaders like Arjun Modhwadia have bitten dust. National leaders of the party Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi did campaign in the state but have not managed to break Modi’s citadel. The lack of a strong state leadership in the state, coupled with the Congress’ aversion to directly take on Modi – after the Maut Ka Saudagar fiasco – did the grand party in.
Modi as PM: The calculative Gujarati seems to have to have also bought into the growing ‘Modi as PM’ chorus. They may have taken him as a symbol of Gujarati pride and the community’s first real chance to have one of their own as the Prime Minister of India.