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Many feel Gujarat a pyrrhic victory for BJP

Many feel Gujarat a pyrrhic victory for BJP
December 21
06:23 2017

L To R: Mangal Patel-BJP, Ahmedabad; Hasmukh Patel-President “NRI-4-Modiji” & Founder OFBJP-USA; Keshav Patel-California-VHP; Jagdish Vyas-Florida Guj-Samaj; C.K.Patel- L.A. (Patidar leader); Ramji Swaminarayan- L.A.,H.S.S; Raman Amin- N.Y.Seniors Indian Association

CHICAGO: Bharatiya Janata Party won State General Assembly elections in Gujarat but not hands down. The BJP victory was expected and the BJP Badekhans boasted of securing 150 seats out of 184 seats contested. They managed only 99, less than what they had last time, but enough to enable them to form the government The outcome was much below the expectations , especially for PM Modi’s home ground. The victory though sweet, however, is dubbed a pyrrhic victory by a front ranking supporter.

Here is a wake up call for the Party and its Badekhans.
India Post conducted a small survey talking to prominent NRIs of Gujarat origin and the consensus was that though most welcome, the outcome should be an eye opener for the BJP top brass as well the party workers at large. It should induce a serious introspection. It should not take the voters for granted, especially those in rural areas.

Dr.Bharat Barai, a front ranking supporter of BJP and PM Narendra Modi had a tour of Gujarat prior to the elections and he got a feeling that everything was moving in the right direction. Though people at large thought highly about Modi they felt disappointed that many of their day to day problems like road repairs, water, electricity or job creation remained unattended. PM Modi has rebuilt India’s image globally and the government that he leads is scandal free but the gains have not percolated to them.

The government has good macro management but lacks proper micro management. The BJP workers tried to encash Modi’s goodwill and did not really made them aware of BJP’s achievements. In fact, they took the people for granted. But for Modi’s campaigning in Gujarat, the party would have fared much worse, he observed

Mafat Patel, a businessman often described as Uncrowned King of Mini India town in Chicago, observed that BJP fared reasonably well despite poor handling of the election campaign by party workers in general. There was lot of discontent among the people and this could have been properly addressed. Had there been a good leader from Congress, BJP would have done worse. Rahul Gandhi with so many tall promises and loose talk worked indirectly in favor of BJP. He proved a phone politician and a weak leader.

Hardik Patel was not on much of a force either. It was TV and some print media that unfortunately gave him lot of prominence and publicity. His influence in north Gujarat proved marginal. May be in Saurashtra he caused a cleavage. Young voters can easily get swayed by this type of media coverage.

Dr Kiran Patel , a big time philanthropist and a leading community activist, said that the process of selecting candidates needed to be upgraded getting more emphasis on credibility and effectiveness rather than on money , BJP could have done better. BJP top brass needs to weed out bad elements and drop the holier than thou approach if they want to fare better in general election two years from now.

Dr Patel said that the BJP trimming its majority in the Assembly could be a blessing in disguise as a strong opposition can keep the ruling party on its toes.

Chandrakant Patel, a banker and a businessman from Dallas, said that looking at the number of seats won, BJP has not done well and that this could be also be attributed to selection of candidates or the way campaign in certain area was handled. Hardik Patel and group siding with Congress did help sway the voters a bit and led BJP losing some seats with small margin. Interestingly, BJP lost some nine seats in all but it bagged higher percentage of popular votes at 49 per cent against 46 per cent previously.

This is a solace and it would do good to the Party bosses if they take this to be a stern warning and look into their short comings.

For instance, poorly implemented GST hurt common man as well as the business community. Whenever there is a change ushered in, the person at the helm should consider all possible implications.

Demonetization a year ago is also an instance. The BJP is a fairly good choice for Indian voters since it has at least a scandal free government.

Dr Dayal Meshri, a scientist from Gujarat who heads a chemical company in Tulsa Oklahoma, said that the BJP victory though welcome overall has a bitter taste in that it has trimmed its majority by 10 per cent.

He felt that negative campaign by opposition activists like Hardik Patel and others should have been properly addressed by BJP echelon but that was not done. The BJP losing some ground in Gujarat is not going to impact other States much as things are different regions-wise. In Himachal Pradesh, BJP has won handsomely. The BJP ruled Gujarat for 22 years and one has to consider the fact that many in the State might hope for a change. Besides, the plus point for BJP rule was that communal riots were absent during the past 10/12 years and this was a big achievement for the party labeled as Hindu party.

Anil Shah, president of World Money Exchange, a leading dealer in foreign exchange, said that he was half expecting a landslide victory for BJP based on his reading of the Gujarat politics. BJP is at the helm of affairs for the past 22 years and it was time that it should face a strong opposition. The enlightened voters have done exactly this and induced the top echelon in the BJP party to get less arrogant and more people friendly.

In any democracy, a strong opposition is must for proper functioning of the government as absolute power corrupts absolutely. “I welcome the development in Gujarat and hope that this serves as a good lesson nation-wide,” he observed.

Badri Ali Godharawala, a big time commercial mortgage lender said that he and a good number of people he talks to back home have welcomed BJP gaining majority of seats. This was a foregone conclusion for many of us and we welcome it for the simple reason that this party will ensure communal harmony that has been a big characteristic of its rule for the past decade.

Those who are Rakshak (protector) cannot become Bhakshak (devilish), he said. Badri Ali is looking forward to more people friendly government now and prays for sustained growth and development
Prakash Patel, a motel owner from Michigan, was a lone voice wishing for the success of Congress party replacing BJP in Gujarat politics.

“Making an objective analysis and observation, I feel that the BJP has been ruling the Gujarat state for the past 22 years and there is time for change – Parivartan. Had BJP lost the elections, there could have been a change for the better – who knows. I want that the truncated majority that the party has now, should make it more responsive to people needs,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NRI community members of “NRI-4-Modiji”, OFBJP, G.I.B.V., Gujarati Samuday of North America, N.F.I.A., Indian community of Canada, Australia & Thailand, Gujarati Samaj of Germany, have congratulated Amitbhai Shah and all winners in the Assembly elections in the States of Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh with clear majority to form BJP Government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modiji.

N.R.I Team Members are Hasmukh Patel-Election co coordinator; Suresh Jani (N.J.); Hirubhai Patel (N.Y); Kaushik Azad (Canada); Himanshu Patel (Germany); Anjaliben Pandya (India); R.K.Sharma (Australia); Karan Singh (Thailand) and Ashok Kant.

Surendra Ullal & Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service



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