Essay On Chief Minister Of Gujarat

NaMo Saga - From Tea Seller to Prime Minister

It's an interesting story of a man who recently stormed into 7, Race Course Road. And, he did not achieve this feat without struggle. Narendra Modi had worked his way to the top post of India's Prime Minister. His rise through the ranks is meteoric, to say the least. As he charts his future course, it would be rewarding to look back at those years when he steadily shaped himself as a national leader.

Born into a lower middle class family in Mehsana district in Gujarat on September 17, 1950, Modi started supporting his family at a tender age as he helped his father sell tea to train passengers at Vadnagar railway station. During his teenage days, he ran a tea stall with his brother. As a student, Modi was an average performer.

Immediately after he became a full-time member of RSS in 1971, Modi witnessed growth on two fronts - academic and political. He completed graduation and Master's degree in 1978 and 1983 respectively. He was given charge of the Sangh Pariwar's student wing - Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Gujarat, but not before he received RSS training in Nagpur.

Modi led a tough life as RSS pracharak. After moving to the RSS office in Delhi, he used to start his day at 4 am by cleaning the office. He was involved in diverse set of chores - serving tea and breakfast to senior colleagues, cleaning utensils and also replying to mails.

During the stormy phase of emergency (1975-1977) when social and political organisations were facing ban, Modi and formed the government on its own continued his campaign against the central government covertly. Under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan, Modi did his bit to strengthen the movement against the Emergency. During this period, he authored a book - 'Sangharsh ma Gujarat' (Gujarat's struggle).

Modi was first inducted in BJP in 1985 on RSS' recommendation. In 1988, he became the organising secretary of BJP's Gujarat unit, which was his first prominent entry into politics. His induction into party's national executive in 1991 happened following his efforts to garner support for Murli Manohar Joshi's Ekta Yatra (journey for unity)

Modi was appointed Gujarat's Chief Minister in October 2001. In 2002, post-Godhra train carnage, a series of communal riots brought the state to a crisis. He was accused of not doing enough to prevent the unprecedented mayhem and violence against Muslims that raged in Gujarat for several days. Another challenge before Modi was to withstand international criticism in the wake of his apparent failure to control rampaging mobs.

During his Second term (2002-2007), Modi focused on making Gujarat an attractive investment destination by emphasising on economic growth and good, corruption-free governance. For successive years, Gujarat surpassed other states in GDP growth. On the other hand, Modi's gradual distancing from RSS and similar organisations was felt in the decisions he took.

Although Modi faced flak from certain groups for 'exaggerating the growth' and favouring only a handful of corporate entities like the Adani group, he nonetheless worked towards state-wide electrification, infrastructure building and industrialisation. During this period, he launched an attack against UPA government on national issues, one of them being the latter's reluctance to revive anti-terror legislations.

After the BJP announced Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he leveraged the anti-Congress wave and tailored his campaign speeches to pinpoint how UPA failed to keep its promise of ensuring development and progress of the country. He assiduously traveled the length and breadth of the country, winning hearts of the millions.

This remarkable journey of the grassroots leader reached a watershed moment when his party registered its finest performance in the Lok Sabha elections by winning 282 seats and formed the NDA government. Modi, as anticipated, won from both the seats he contested. He was unanimously elected as the 15th Prime Minister of India.

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Vijay Rupani, the 60-year-old state BJP president, is the new chief minister of Gujarat.

Nitin Patel, the health and family welfare minister has been made the deputy CM. Though there were various contenders in the reckoning, only two were being considered as serious candidates.

Rupani is considered an effective administrator. His genial demeanour and conciliatory approach have made him a likeable personality both in the government and the party.

When Anandiben Patel became the CM, there were several inter-party feuds which often landed at Delhi's doorstep. To rid itself of the catfights, the BJP made Rupani the state president. A law graduate, Rupani was also transport minister in Anandiben's cabinet. The dual role gives him unparalled access to both the party and administration.

Given the kind of volatile situation prevailing in Gujarat, amid agitations by both Patidars and Dalits, a major chunk of the party considers him best suited for the job. One other thing which worked in his favour is that he not only enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but is also considered very close to BJP president Amit Shah.

 Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

The party leadership feels that the new leader should be able to reach out to the protesting communities and an amiable Rupani can do that. To maintain law and order, his administrative skills will be helpful.

Also read: Anandiben Patel's resignation won't save BJP in Gujarat

While OBCs and Dalits are up in arms, making a chief minister from a non-OBC community can help in avoiding a tricky situation.       

Current position and political history

Transport and water supply minister.

He was an active ABVP leader and was the only leader in the Anandiben Cabinet who was jailed in 1975 during Emergency.

For most part of his political life Rupani lived under the shadow of Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala as both were from Rajkot West.

He was a corporator and then became Rajkot mayor. Keshubhai Patel, who also played a key role in shaping Rupani's career had made him the chairman for implementation of 20-point-programme. He had been BJP general secretary for a long time and was made Rajya Sabha MP. Close to Modi, he also cosied up to Amit Shah in Delhi when the latter was externed and had restrictions placed on him on entering Gujarat.

Rupani was elected as Rajkot (West) MLA and was inducted in the Anandiben cabinet. He was also appointed state BJP chief. In fact, he announced the decision of quota for economically backward class on behalf of the governor in the presence of Anandiben and Amit Shah. He became an alternate power centre in the Cabinet.

Political mentor 

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Rupani's political career was also shaped by Keshubhai Patel. He was initially groomed by BJP leaders Chiman Shukla and RSS leader Pravin Maniar.

Political rival 

Vajubhai Vala. Once Vala was banished as governor to Karnataka, he had his come comeuppance and has risen politically since.

Also read: Why Dalits used carcasses of cows in Gujarat to protest

Anandiben Patel: Ever since he became a minister and then became the state BJP president, Rupani began flexing his political muscles. Rupani is the closest confidant of Anandiben's biggest political rival and she was prepared to accept anyone as her successor but Rupani.

Equation with the RSS

Pravin Maniar, the former state RSS chief, was one of the political mentors of Rupani. Also an ABVP leader and close to the RSS.

Challenges for new Gujarat CM

1.    To fill the larger-than-life shoes left behind by Narendra Modi.

2.    To contain Patidar agitation and to bring Patel's back to the BJP fold.

3.    To contain Dalit uprising in Gujarat.

4.    To contain cow vigilante groups, who are on a rampage.

5.    To deal with inner party factionalism.

6.    To check AAP, which is spreading its wings in state.

7.    To stop Congress, which is in revival mode.

8.    To revive image of Gujarat, which has been battered in last two years.

9.    To organise successful Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2017.

10.  Ensure BJP's victory in 2017 Assembly Elections.

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