Is the BJP hyping the Gujarat development model to lure voters around the nation? Or, the Chief Minister of this much talked about state has actually delivered more than the other political leaders? Definitely, the voters must assure that the real picture is uncovered prior to concluding. ‘Is Baar Modi Sarkar’ has outshined all other campaigning tools and statements, and above all, the phrase has ranked the Chief Minister of a state above the national political entity, BJP. The need of the hour is to know the ground reality and then extend support to any of the claiming political groups/ leaders.
A noticeable expression by Forbes India- ‘Gujarat’s growth story is an expression of the chief minister’s authoritarian power’. To start with, I will talk about the comments of critics who say that the historical and traditional entrepreneurship is what that helped Gujarat achieve the success we all talk about. What about the caliber of the Rajasthani Marwaris who despite of staying and building Rajasthan a role model migrated to Gujarat in search of enhanced business prospects? 12.8 percent agricultural growth in last five years as compared to the national average of 2 percent. Programmes like ‘SCOPE’ for imparting English language skills, and increase in the number of technical education institutes from 442 (in 2001) to 18000 are the landmarks in Gujarat’s educational module.
Further, the initiative, EMPOWER enrolls more than 100 thousand students for computer education. Herein too, 84 percent students come from rural areas and 35000 are women. Sorry, you cannot find chewing tobacco as it is banned in Gujarat. The next, I would uncover the fact that the state of Gujarat is one of those seven states that has lower poverty ratio for Muslims as compared to the Hindus both in urban as well as rural parts. The figure, 7.7 percent is what makes Gujarat the state with lowest poverty ratio for the Muslims when we consider rural areas. From 2004-05 to 2011-12, the period witnessed a fall of 21.8 percent in poverty ratio for the Scheduled Castes and Muslims. Also, the SCs poverty ratio is only 1.4 percent higher than that of the general castes; however, the same gap is much wider nationally.
Next, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in the report of 2012 revealed that the state of Gujarat, from 2006-07 to 2010-11, was able to lower the proportion of underweight children by 32 percent, which, if talked about at the national level was only 9 percent. When talked about the ratio of female to male child, Gujarat was able to increase the figure of 865 per thousand to 903 per thousand from 2004-06 to 2008-10, thus showing better results in relative terms at the national level (892 to 905). Manufacturing sector in Gujarat accounts for 40 percent of state GDP as compared to 27 percent of national GDP. The only state where ground water level has increased in the last 8 years is Gujarat. Water management structures like check dams, boribandhs, and khet talavadis have been created in the last 10 years totaling to over 5.5 lakh in number.
The state’s own tax revenue as percentage of total tax revenue is the highest in the country. Japanese companies have relied on transparent and swift land acquisition policy, abundant electricity, and good infrastructure as said by Japan’s Ambassador, Takeshi Yagi. Narendra Modi’s tough stand on corruption has helped the state not to be a part of controversial corruption cases. The report of Labor Bureau says that Gujarat’s unemployment rate stands at 27 percent as compared with 63 percent, 57 percent, 56 percent, and 48 percent in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Punjab respectively. Gujarat has emerged as one of the most secure states for women in the Female Security Index survey conducted by Tata Strategic Management Group.
A few more truths unearth that 25 percent of the national GDP comes from Gujarat. In the same context, 24 percent, 35 percent, and 51 percent of India’s textile, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical productions respectively come from Gujarat. The ‘Jyotigram Yojana’ delivers 24 hour power supply to nearly 100 percent of Gujarat’s 18000 villages. Considerable to note, all the villages in the state have broadband internet connectivity. When we talk about infrastructure, with schemes like Pragatipath, Pravasipath and Vikaspath Yojanas, the state has successfully connected tribal belts, coastal, industrial and rural areas with mainstream areas and the extremities of the state, triggering faster development in comparison to other states.
For those who have nothing except the Godhra massacre must know that the Special Investigation Team has reported that the state government took all possible measures and no evidence shows the participation of Narendra Modi. While many say that the experience of running a state would no way serve as a push to govern the nation, it is vital to note that the state of Gujarat is more or less equivalent to the U.K. in terms of area as well as population. Also, the U.S. presidents including George W Bush and Bill Clinton who proved competent had been state governors prior to tackling the issues at the national level. The battle has begun. Let’s wait for the final verdict of the voters.