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Modi and Gujarat

, September 24, 2013, 1 Comments

Gujarat can be considered to have performed well in the matter of Industrial Development. But it continues to be backward in the matter of social sector development. As the latest Economic Survey shows, Infant mortality rate in 2011 was lower in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as compared to Gujarat.

Life expectancy at birth was higher in Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as compared to Gujarat. Literacy rate in 2011 was higher in Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa Sikkim, Manipur and Mizoram as compared to Gujarat

Thus Gujarat cannot be considered to be model state for development. The state has achieved a high level of industrial development by Indian standards. This has been achieved at the cost of environmental deterioration and with the support of migrant labour from outside the state.

The primary reason for industrial development in the state of Gujarat is the enterprise of its people and not any form of political leadership. Gujarat was already an economically developed state of India before Narendra Modi became its Chief Minister. It would be gross falsification of facts and history to say that Modi was the factor that led to Gujarat’s economic advancement.

Modi has definitely proved to be a good administrator. But the overhang of Godra carnage and the allegations of administered killings against the police force which functioned during Modi’s tenure as CM, makes Modi a candidate most unsuited to be the Prime Minister of India.

In India we need a Prime Minister who is democratic in spirit, compromising in attitude and someone who can carry all communities with him. Certainly Modi is not a leader with these characteristics. He has the reputation of being dominating and autocratic and also of being against the minority community in spirit. With these characteristics he can neither be a successful leader for the country nor will he be able to command great respect overseas.

An image has been created that Modi has great credentials in governance and he has emerged as a darling of industry and the youth. But his support base is extremely weak outside the Northern belt and virtually non-existent in South and North East India. Many describe him as a polarizing force in politics and whatever he does. There are better eligible candidates within the BJP who could have been considered for the Prime Minister’s job.

Modi’s policies are less-industry friendly than that of the UPA. Modi does not support FDI in retail trade. His party has been the stumbling block in introducing GST which would have been a game-changer. BJP has consistently opposed 49% FDI in Insurance. The land bill was not to the industry’s liking, but BJP’s amendments in parliament made it more retrograde than the original. It is wrong to consider BJP as being rightist. Evidence show that BJP is more left oriented than the Congress in its economic policies. One wonders why industry leaders support NDA as against the UPA.






About author
P V Rajeev , former Economic Adviser of Government of India and worked as an Economist in Government of India for more than three decades. ...more