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PM is constantly raining ‘Election Revadis’, then why is BJP’s throat drying up!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the first phase of the metro in Ahmedabad ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A few months later, there are Gujarat assembly elections, so he inaugurated it again.

What Narendra Modi does is ‘big’. He has also proved this in the case of election ravens. Whenever he went to Gujarat, he laid the foundation stone of projects worth crores. In a period of six months till September, Modi laid the foundation of projects worth 80 thousand crores. It is not a spray, it is a heavy rain of ravines. Yet, the feet of those who have traveled a long and high journey to power are staggering.

Prime Minister Modi alone laid the foundation of projects worth 80 thousand crores. The projects laid by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Chief Minister during this period are different.

First of all let’s see what the PM gave?

April 20: Foundation stone for projects worth Rs 22,000 crore laid.

June 10: Foundation of 12 projects in Navsari, Bhumi-Poojan for 14 projects and 7 projects with an investment of Rs 3,050 crore inaugurated.

July 15: Virtual inauguration of projects worth Rs 1,100 crore, including a five-star hotel worth Rs 790 crore to be built at Gandhinagar’s new railway station.

July 28: Inauguration and foundation stone laying of projects worth more than Rs 1000 crore at Sabar Dairy in Sabarkantha district.

August 27-28: Foundation stone of projects worth Rs 4400 crore in Bhuj, inauguration of Kutch canal of Sardar Sarovar project. Foundation stone of two Suzuki plants in Gandhinagar worth Rs 18,300 crore.

29-30 September: Announcement of projects worth Rs 29,000 crore. These include the ‘world’s first’ CNG terminal at Bhavnagar, Phase-I of Metro in Ahmedabad, Phase-I of Diamond Research and Mercantile (Dream) City in Surat, besides flagging off the Gandhinagar-Mumbai Central Vande Bharat Express train in the state. Inauguration of the 36th National Games being held.

A day before this, the Union Cabinet announced to extend the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ by three months, which would cost Rs 44,762 crore. In this 5 kg of wheat and rice is given free of cost. Seeing the ‘amazing’ of this scheme in the Uttar Pradesh elections, its timing was extended so that the elections of Himachal and Gujarat are covered. About 3.48 crore people from more than 71 lakh families of Gujarat will benefit from the free ration scheme.

Congress’ national spokesperson Shakti Singh Gohil, who hails from Bhavnagar, attacks the Prime Minister saying that ‘the Kalpsar project in Bhavnagar, while promising it was described as more ambitious than the Narmada project, but it is nowhere to be seen. While it has been more than a decade since the announcement.’ Gohil said, ‘In a public meeting in Bhavnagar on January 26, 2012, you (Modi) had promised a sea shipbuilding park worth Rs 425 crore but the state-owned Alcock Ashdown Shipbuilders was shut down. A full-fledged Mahua port was promised on February 14, 2014 but this too is nowhere to be seen. The promise of making Mithi Virdi as Central Port and Bhavnagar as National Plastic Park is also unfulfilled.

Gujarat Congress spokesperson Dr. Manish Doshi says, “The Prime Minister may claim to be a super achiever, but it took him 18 years to complete the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro. Since 2004, the cost has increased from Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 12,700 crore. Who is responsible for it?’

Doshi said that under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the UPA government had given Rs five lakh crore over 10 years for 1,500 projects. Gujarat got Rs 20,000 crore for BRTS, 108 ambulance service, new buses and sewage treatment. But the Modi-led Gujarat government did not agree to get money from the UPA government for the new buses until the UPA government threatened to cut funding.

Elections are near and the Aam Aadmi Party has joined the challengers. Thus the contest in Gujarat is now triangular. The election promises of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have created problems for BJP. Both allies and government servants have their own expectations from the Bhupendra Patel-led Gujarat government and because of this the BJP is finding itself on the back foot.

Ex-servicemen, road transport workers, ASHA workers and forest guards have also come in the category of employees angry with the government. There is a barrage of demands from all around and fearing that this movement may not take hold, a panel of five ministers has been formed. The support these movements are getting from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party has added to the frustration of the BJP and as a result, it has been forced to accept many demands.

Take the case of the policemen who have been agitating for the last one year for wage revision. The government was in no mood to listen to them. Here Arvind Kejriwal promised that the policemen would get better pay scales if his party came to power. Four days after Kejriwal’s bet, the government had to announce a package of 550 crores for the policemen. Immediately thereafter, the Patwari stuck to his decade-old demand for an increase in allowances. After all, the government had to increase their allowance from Rs 900 to Rs 3000 from September 2022.

The ex-servicemen’s movement took a serious turn when one of the protesting members was killed. Gandhinagar has turned into a police cantonment and ex-servicemen are on dharna for a 14-point demand. Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have promised to accept all their demands if they come to power. Earlier, the government pulled out of the Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking project announced in the Union Budget when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi announced at a rally in May that the project would be scrapped if Congress came to power.

To bridge the pitfalls of the anti-incumbency wave and mismanagement of the Covid times, Prime Minister Modi sacked the Vijay Rupani ministry but in the process undermined the position of new Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel. The change in portfolios of two key cabinet ministers Rajendra Trivedi and Purnesh Modi on 20 August strengthened the perception that the BJP was in the grip of camp.

Election dates in Gujarat are going to be announced soon and BJP is under immense pressure.