Experts are now unanimous that no other politician has done for Gujarat what Modi has been able to do. No wonder the Gujaratis dont seem to want any other party or “leader” replace him.
Explains former IIM director, professor Bakul Dholakia,”Modi has improved the living conditions and the earnings of almost nine% of the poor in Gujarat over the past several years. And nine% of a total 6 crore population means an impressive 54 lakh.” Dholakia points to sections of the manifesto where Modi’s economic vision is more than explicit. He wants the state government to provide bank guarantee for loans that young and ambitious entrepreneurs desperately need. Says the diminutive academic: “Suresh Tendulkar’s report has already pointed out that Gujarat has the sharpest declining rate of poverty.”
Economist Bibek Debroy, who has been visiting Modi’s Gujarat and doing several studies on its economic indicators, said that this phenomenon is not just urban. “It also happened in the Gujarat countryside following widespread diversification of agriculture. Mono-crop regions are growing two crops. There is better availability of water and electricity.” Debroy agrees that in quite a few parts of the country, there is an upward mobility. He cites the example of western Uttar Pradesh where the previously impoverished is earning a great deal more. But he agrees that before Modi no other politician has really identified this trend.
What is obvious in the many facts and figures as well as one look at the Gujarat landscape cannot be wished away by jarring negative campaigns.