Narendra Modi: First we take Gujarat, then we take…?

October 4, 2012

Who was the Bharatiya Janata Party politician who posed this rhetorical question? “I want to ask the Congress and the Prime Minister, would he like to face (a Special Investigation Team) now on the Coalgate scandal?”

It’s what you might expect from a national leader of the BJP, challenging the Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a countrywide controversy as a verbal volley before the parliament polls scheduled for 2014. But it was just Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stirring the pot for this December’s assembly elections.

That is unusual for a state election campaign, which normally focuses on state problems. Though Modi did tie all this in to Gujarat with allegations of unfairness toward his state, you could be forgiven for thinking that he was waging a national campaign to be prime minister.

Many people think so too, though Modi, who has won attention in the international media for his pro-business, pro-development stance for Gujarat since becoming chief minister in 2002, has denied it.

Instead of responding to criticism – namely the 2002 communal riots that killed over a thousand people as per government records – Modi has spoken out on topics ranging from illegal immigration from Bangladesh to policy paralysis in the Manmohan Singh government.

His attacks against Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, widely seen as his party’s ‘PM-in-waiting’, also point to a desire to spar with Congress on a national level. Look at his allegations of excessive international travel costs racked up by Sonia Gandhi, in which he quoted numbers that turned out not to exist.

Of course, Sonia Gandhi in 2007 took her fight to the state level as well, which worked out well for Modi as luck would have it. Back then, she made an issue of alleged fake encounters carried out by the Gujarat police.

She used the dramatic phrase “maut ke saudagar” (merchants of death) against Modi. The latter turned the jibe on its head and called it an attack on Gujarat’s pride. The rest is electoral history.

This time, Sonia Gandhi did not respond to the accusations levelled by Modi. Her pitch was determinedly local when she visited Gujarat on Wednesday. She hammered the government for treatment meted out to Dalits and tribal people in the state; she also said that the UPA coalition government that includes the Congress Party had allocated 50 per cent more funds for development in Gujarat compared to the BJP-led NDA coalition government when it was in power from 1998 to 2004.

Both avoided the lingering hot topic of the 2002 riots.  In the 2002 and 2007 state elections, Modi used negative campaigning about the riots to polarise the electorate and consolidate his largely Hindu support base.

What should people outside Gujarat make of all this? Surely it can’t be his explanation – that he has to campaign against the national Congress Party bosses because there’s no one good enough to fight in his weight class back home. Whatever the reasons for his actions, it’s probably time for Indians to get more familiar with him before they visit the voting booth.

6 comments

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Sonia’s travel whereabouts(National security issue) ‘do not exist??’ or ‘not known’?. Also, verbal abuse by Sonia in 2007 on a mass leader naturally(not luckily) gives negative returns. It takes conviction and guts at heart to face an SIT and come out unscathed which NaMo has.

Posted by Draksharam | Report as abusive

It seems that this article is written by a Congress Party Spokesperson. In 2007, Modi and BJP never talked about the riots, It was Congress Party and paid media who tried to brought riots in to the election campaign. But the false propaganda of congress party and paid media false propaganda was strongly rejected by Gujarat voters. This time Congress is careful but paid media is trying to raise this issue.
Author should make-up his mind whether or not Modi talks about the riots. If he talks about it, Paid media says that he is polarising the electorate; if he does not then paid media asks why is he not talking about it?
Interestingly Author of this article did not talk about the lies that Sonia Gandhi told in her speech. Either the author does not have enough knowledge of congress lies or he has deliberately chosen to ignore it.

Posted by Deepak.uoh | Report as abusive

First Modi must answer where are the missing children of Gujarat…he must answer what happened in 2002, he must answer who killed Haren Pandya, he must answer that why no Lokayukta in Gujarat, he must answer what CAG report says about his corrupt…before the even think to be PM

Posted by tarunvaghela | Report as abusive

Chief minister Narendra Modi didn’t spell out any apology for the 2002 riots, during his speech. But he gave indication that he wants this history to be buried. Addressing people before starting his fast on Saturday, Modi asked them to forget the past and be part of the development spree. His choice of words and tone of speech were aimed at conveying a sense of regret, especially to the Muslim community.

Posted by tarunvaghela | Report as abusive

Delivering the judgment yesterday, the court slammed the Modi government, terming the 2002 communal conflagration as “negligence of the state” and censured it for “inaction”, holding that it had resulted in an “anarchic” situation. “Even if we, for the sake of argument, accept the defense of the state that the cause of riot was a general reaction to the Sabarmati Express incident, the failure on part of police to gather intelligence about such general reaction (after the Godhra train burning incident) in time and to take appropriate timely action definitely come within expression ‘negligence of the state’,” the court said.

Posted by tarunvaghela | Report as abusive

Hello,

Have a look at my research article on the workings of a PR Agency that goes by the name of APCO Worldwide and it’s sister concern ASERO Worldwide. The focus of the article is their implications and how it affects Indian politics and puts it’s security and resources in jeopardy. Forming a strong base of case studies ranging from the discredit campaign on Michael Moore’s Sicko to the 1Malaysia campaign and having dictators on it’s client list we move forward to it’s Zionist Connection and also on having Ex-Mossad’s on it’s member list along with many Bilderbergs. Finally it’s concluded with it’s proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and also APCO’s future plan for India.

Mechanics of Narendra Modi’s PR agency : APCO Worldwide – Orchestrating our Future
http://greatgameindia.blogspot.in/2012/1 0/mechanics-of-narendra-modis-pr-agency. html

Kind Regards,
Shelley Kasli
Independent Geo-Political Researcher,
Creative Director,
WildChild Studios http://dreamrealmstudios.blogspot.in/

Posted by ShelleyKasli | Report as abusive