What a possible jolt in Gujarat can mean for governance

BJP’s low numbers can put a break on the series of tough measures

GN Bureau | December 18, 2017


#governance   #economy   #BJP   #Narendra Modi   #Gujarat   #Elections   #Congress  
What a possible jolt in Gujarat can mean for governance
What a possible jolt in Gujarat can mean for governance

As of writing, there are only leads, and the gap between the BJP and the Congress is somewhat increasing. Yet, it looks like a close battle – not what all the exit polls had forecast.

 
BJP president Amit Shah had given a call to the cadre to target 150. This time was possibly the best chance the party had of crossing the Congress tallies of 141 (1980) and 149 (1985), given that Narendra Modi is the prime minister. If he can deliver such massive mandates in states like UP, then Gujarat should have been a cakewalk.
 
That, however, is not what seems to happening. At the current trend of leading in less than 110 seats, BJP is possibly looking at its lowest numbers since it came to power in 1995. This close battle is giving stock markets bouts of nervousness. The market is only an early and very concrete barometer of many sectors of economy and governance.
 
Modi has been able to take a series of un-populist and counterintuitive decisions like demonetisation on the strength of his popularity. It was vindicated in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year. Building on it, he went further and brought in GST on schedule. If Gujarat, his home state, does not back him up full well, if Gujarat gives a bit half-hearted verdict, Modi may have to choose to play safe till the summer of 2019, when he would seek a fresh term at the national level. He may have to rethink tough decisions needed to revive the economy – GDP growth numbers finally bottomed out last quarter after going down for six quarters.

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