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Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

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  • Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

    The most debated topic in the country

    "Will Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of India"


    To start of I am reproducing 2 articles to start a discussion on IREF

    My sincere apologies to cricket commentators. I am going to borrow a few of your pet (read tired) cliches for the 'Will Narendra Modi be PM' debate. Here comes one - It's not over till the last ball is bowled. I don't profess to know where the Indian voter will finally press the button. But, since politics can be as full of 'glorious uncertainties' (note history of ousted governments - NDA 2004 prime example) as cricket, the final outcome will be known when it is known. Till then, all arguments pointing to why he cannot be PM have equally strong counter-arguments. And since the arguments have been laid out, it's only fair that counter arguments be given a chance too. People can choose what to believe as per their respective biases

    One of the primary assumptions in many arguments is that Narendra Modi has jumped into this without a plan. He may be many things but even his worst enemies will concede the man can think. Now, here is a man who has battled the most hostile political attack in independent India's history for over 10 years (note: I am not going into the validity of the attack). He has managed to fight that battle and reposition himself to become a front-runner for the topmost position in a party which itself did not anticipate his rise.

    For him, if the rewards of success are bountiful (PM's post & dominance), failure will be catastrophic. His own party will bury his political career forever, leave alone all the 'secular' cases that will come back to hunt him down. He is human & so has no magical control over outcomes, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume he must have a workable enough plan to get himself to 7, Race Course. Wouldn't it be fair to wait for the final stages of electioneering before writing him off and to know if his plan was good enough?

    Even with its limited footprint, a BJP campaign focused on its strong areas & the yet to be conquered Uttar Pradesh, can get it enough numbers for a good bargain. It's easier said than done, but not impossible. It was a far more limited BJP which got 183 seats earlier. Oh, but SP/BSP will still push the BJP around in UP say some. Yes, they probably will. But, there are also indications that UP wants a credible alternative to them. That Narendra Modi can appeal to UP voters is also in the realm of possibility. Isn't it?

    Another counter argument is that Muslims will view Modi as communal and not vote for BJP. This argument is sought to be strengthened further by arguing - as Nitish Kumar is fond of doing- that Narendra Modi even refuses to wear a skull cap. Now, that's a heads-I win-tails-you-lose argument. If he does wear the skull cap, the same set of people will dismiss it as a gimmick for votes - remember the famous 'mukhauta' of BJP, not even today's 'acceptable' Vajpayee was spared. Plus, no matter who the leader, BJP is unlikely to get too many minority votes. So many motions against the UPA have fallen through in Parliament because other parties didn't want to gang up with a 'communal' party like BJP even though it was being led by a now secular L K Advani. So, while minority votes would be welcome, they can't be BJP's main plank.

    But, a leader other than Modi will make the NDA more acceptable, say many. That's another facile argument. If BJP does manage to get a reasonable figure by itself, the rank opportunists masquerading as secularists are likely to work out a face-saver in 'national interest' & to prevent another election. Plus, people can transition from being communal to being secular. The unacceptable, communal Advani of 1996-99, is now the acceptable 'secular' leader of 2013-14 to the same set of 'secular' parties. Some 'common minimum program' type of charades can always be handy when it comes to 'protecting national interest'.

    But India is not a presidential election is another argument and a valid one at that too. It indeed is an aggregation of constituencies. But, if that's the case then why does the Congress stick to the Nehru-Gandhi family & the SP to the Yadavs? By the same logic, Sonia & Rahul shouldn't be important in a disaggregated election. But, they are. There is no reason why Modi can't be like them. He is today one of the most recognised faces (for good or bad) across India. He may not win the election on his name alone, but he can be central force of the BJP's campaign.

    TV opinion polls? Oh well, they do pick the straws in the wind but can anyone say they are definitive? I don't see too many TV opinion polls considering the possibility of different voting patterns for centre & state level elections. Asking voters if Modi is communal is gamed to get a certain response. What if channels ask if all politicians in this country play communal politics? The answer to this question, as the view from my armchair goes, would be a resounding yes. The 'sab chor hain' argument (with due credit to Mr Kejriwal) could also extend to 'sab communal hain ji'.

    Having said all this, it would be foolish to assume BJP or Modi will have a cakewalk. While the loss (if it happens) will be conveniently blamed on Narendra Modi, the real cause will be the party's lack of purpose over the last nine years. It is inexplicable that a party sits in opposition for NINE long years but doesn't work on its biggest weakness of limited geographical reach or a focused consolidation of areas it was strong in. How can it ignore the biggest contributor UP for such a long period of time? It perhaps deserves to lose for this callousness alone. It's only now, with rallies & with public outreach is BJP attempting to change the 'narrative', forcing the Congress to rethink how it will meet the 2014 challenge. We don't know yet if it's too late, but it may be. Finally, BJP needs to watch out for generous UPA give-aways - those can be fatal.

    To cut the long story short & come back to cricket, Modi can, on his day, turn the match around. That alone will make 2014 interesting. And, we will know in that year if what Narendra Modi hit, stayed hit.

    Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/21954725.cms (ET)
    Last edited March 3 2014, 08:54 AM.
  • #2

    #2

    Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

    article by swami iyer on why he will not become PM

    Hard political reality is that Narendra Modi cannot become PM - Economic Times


    Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, chose Independence Day, August 15, to launch his campaign to become prime minister. He is not formally the BJP's official candidate, but makes no bones about his ambition. Even as Manmohan Singh made one more tepid Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, Modi lambasted him in a rival speech that had his cohorts cheering wildly

    Modi declared contemptuously that Singh was so busy acting as a servant to the Gandhi family that he had forgotten about serving 1.2 billion Indians. He attacked Singh for being soft on Pakistan, for the crash of the rupee, for inflation and unemployment and misgovernance. He challenged Singh to a one-on-one debate on how to run the country. Given his oratorical skills and Singh's lack of them, it would be a one-sided contest.
    The BJP party cadres love Modi, and are delighted with his offensive. The media are agog with Modi's speech. Many are analysing the next election as a Modi versus Rahul Gandhi affair.

    Sorry, but such talk is idle rubbish. Prime ministers in India are not chosen after a gladiatorial contest between two armed combatants. They are not chosen directly by the people at all, as in the US. Rather, Indian voters choose only a single Member of Parliament from each constituency. Once in a while a national wave can drown local issues (as after Indira Gandhi's death), but typically elections in each constituency focus intensely on local issues and the abilities of individual local candidates. National politics can look very remote at the grassroots level. To see every local contest as a Modiversus-Rahul battle is pure fantasy.

    These decentralised battles decide who gets elected to Parliament. Whether Modi beats Rahul Gandhi in opinion polls, or defeats Manmohan Singh in debates, is irrelevant. What matters is how many seats the NDA can get in the election, and how many additional allies it can garner after the elections produce a hung Parliament.

    The answer has already come in several opinion polls. All show that a Modi-led BJP has no chance of heading the next government. One typical poll, co-sponsored by Times Now, showed the UPA getting 136 seats, the NDA getting 156 seats, and other parties getting the balance of 251 seats. Voters may be totally disillusioned with Manomhan Singh, but they are not enthused by a Modi-led BJP either.

    Is there any way an NDA with 156 seats can get additional post-election allies holding another 117 seats, enough for a bare majority? Almost impossible. It might be remotely possible if the NDA is led by somebody with wide appeal, who can charm and win friends rather than raise hackles. Atal Behari Vajpayee was such a person. Narendra Modi emphatically is not.

    He is unquestionably a strong and efficient administrator. Gujarat has prospered under him, and given him three successive terms of office. But he is known as a man who tolerates no opposition, cuts all colleagues to size, and rules with an iron fist. Such a person will fail miserably as prime minister of a disparate coalition that can be brought down by any of several minor partners.

    Under Vajpayee, the BJP was able to attract regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee. Vajpayee assured them that the BJP would not pursue any of its traditional communal policies while in office. He had the flexibility and credibility to deliver.

    Modi has neither the same flexibility nor credibility. He prides himself on Hindutva. He can't even bear to wear the traditional Muslim cap or scarf offered by Muslim well wishers. Indian Muslims hate him for complicity in the killing of over 1,000 Muslims in the 2002 Gujarat riots. They do not believe the leopard will change its spots as Prime Minister.
    So, regional leaders like Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik and Chandrababu Naidu treat Modi as poison. They did business with Vajpayee. They refuse to do business with Modi.

    Let nobody think that these regional leaders have high moral principles. No, they are cynical opportunists. But as opportunists, they have made a simple calculation: will extra Hindu votes brought in by Modi compensate for the loss of Muslim votes? The answer is an overwhelming "no". And that's that.

    Modi may grab the headlines with his driving ambition and rousing speeches. He may greatly enthuse his RSS cadres. But for all his ambition and energy, the hard political reality is that he cannot become prime minister. As Katrina Kaif said in a different context, in her item number Sheela ki jawani...
    "I know you wanna get it
    But you're never gonna get it,
    Tere haath kabhi na aani."

    Comment

    • #3

      #3

      Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

      what makes narendra modi a middle class hero

      http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/...le-class-hero/

      Comment

      • #4

        #4

        Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

        I don't think so...Chances of mulayam becoming PM are high.

        Comment

        • #5

          #5

          Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

          Originally posted by kinjalchato View Post
          the most hotly debated topic in the country , so why not have a thread dedicated in the off topic forum. all views welcome

          T start of I am reproducing 2 articles which talk about this issue

          ---------------------------------------

          Poke Me: Don't write Narendra Modi off yet - The Economic Times

          My sincere apologies to cricket commentators. I am going to borrow a few of your pet (read tired) cliches for the 'Will Narendra Modi be PM' debate. Here comes one - It's not over till the last ball is bowled. I don't profess to know where the Indian voter will finally press the button. But, since politics can be as full of 'glorious uncertainties' (note history of ousted governments - NDA 2004 prime example) as cricket, the final outcome will be known when it is known. Till then, all arguments pointing to why he cannot be PM have equally strong counter-arguments. And since the arguments have been laid out, it's only fair that counter arguments be given a chance too. People can choose what to believe as per their respective biases

          One of the primary assumptions in many arguments is that Narendra Modi has jumped into this without a plan. He may be many things but even his worst enemies will concede the man can think. Now, here is a man who has battled the most hostile political attack in independent India's history for over 10 years (note: I am not going into the validity of the attack). He has managed to fight that battle and reposition himself to become a front-runner for the topmost position in a party which itself did not anticipate his rise.

          For him, if the rewards of success are bountiful (PM's post & dominance), failure will be catastrophic. His own party will bury his political career forever, leave alone all the 'secular' cases that will come back to hunt him down. He is human & so has no magical control over outcomes, but it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume he must have a workable enough plan to get himself to 7, Race Course. Wouldn't it be fair to wait for the final stages of electioneering before writing him off and to know if his plan was good enough?

          Even with its limited footprint, a BJP campaign focused on its strong areas & the yet to be conquered Uttar Pradesh, can get it enough numbers for a good bargain. It's easier said than done, but not impossible. It was a far more limited BJP which got 183 seats earlier. Oh, but SP/BSP will still push the BJP around in UP say some. Yes, they probably will. But, there are also indications that UP wants a credible alternative to them. That Narendra Modi can appeal to UP voters is also in the realm of possibility. Isn't it?

          Another counter argument is that Muslims will view Modi as communal and not vote for BJP. This argument is sought to be strengthened further by arguing - as Nitish Kumar is fond of doing- that Narendra Modi even refuses to wear a skull cap. Now, that's a heads-I win-tails-you-lose argument. If he does wear the skull cap, the same set of people will dismiss it as a gimmick for votes - remember the famous 'mukhauta' of BJP, not even today's 'acceptable' Vajpayee was spared. Plus, no matter who the leader, BJP is unlikely to get too many minority votes. So many motions against the UPA have fallen through in Parliament because other parties didn't want to gang up with a 'communal' party like BJP even though it was being led by a now secular L K Advani. So, while minority votes would be welcome, they can't be BJP's main plank.

          But, a leader other than Modi will make the NDA more acceptable, say many. That's another facile argument. If BJP does manage to get a reasonable figure by itself, the rank opportunists masquerading as secularists are likely to work out a face-saver in 'national interest' & to prevent another election. Plus, people can transition from being communal to being secular. The unacceptable, communal Advani of 1996-99, is now the acceptable 'secular' leader of 2013-14 to the same set of 'secular' parties. Some 'common minimum program' type of charades can always be handy when it comes to 'protecting national interest'.

          But India is not a presidential election is another argument and a valid one at that too. It indeed is an aggregation of constituencies. But, if that's the case then why does the Congress stick to the Nehru-Gandhi family & the SP to the Yadavs? By the same logic, Sonia & Rahul shouldn't be important in a disaggregated election. But, they are. There is no reason why Modi can't be like them. He is today one of the most recognised faces (for good or bad) across India. He may not win the election on his name alone, but he can be central force of the BJP's campaign.

          TV opinion polls? Oh well, they do pick the straws in the wind but can anyone say they are definitive? I don't see too many TV opinion polls considering the possibility of different voting patterns for centre & state level elections. Asking voters if Modi is communal is gamed to get a certain response. What if channels ask if all politicians in this country play communal politics? The answer to this question, as the view from my armchair goes, would be a resounding yes. The 'sab chor hain' argument (with due credit to Mr Kejriwal) could also extend to 'sab communal hain ji'.

          Having said all this, it would be foolish to assume BJP or Modi will have a cakewalk. While the loss (if it happens) will be conveniently blamed on Narendra Modi, the real cause will be the party's lack of purpose over the last nine years. It is inexplicable that a party sits in opposition for NINE long years but doesn't work on its biggest weakness of limited geographical reach or a focused consolidation of areas it was strong in. How can it ignore the biggest contributor UP for such a long period of time? It perhaps deserves to lose for this callousness alone. It's only now, with rallies & with public outreach is BJP attempting to change the 'narrative', forcing the Congress to rethink how it will meet the 2014 challenge. We don't know yet if it's too late, but it may be. Finally, BJP needs to watch out for generous UPA give-aways - those can be fatal.

          To cut the long story short & come back to cricket, Modi can, on his day, turn the match around. That alone will make 2014 interesting. And, we will know in that year if what Narendra Modi hit, stayed hit.
          good thread kinjalchato ji

          I am a fan of MODI

          i will say yes Narendra Modi will be Our PM

          i will say he truly deserves PM because of him Gujarat his best state

          vote for modi friends bye bye to sardar
          Last edited August 21 2013, 10:56 PM.
          NEVER BUY ANY PROPERTY BY SEEING COMMENTS ALWAYS VISIT LOCATION

          Comment

          • #6

            #6

            Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

            Nice topic, IMHO, Narendra Modi is definitely a leader who at least speaks and speaks well!

            What he has done for Gujarat, if hes able to replicate at a national level, India will definitely take a leap forward. My only concern is the party he is representing, an idealistic, communist and a degenerative unit

            My vote for him!

            Comment

            • #7

              #7

              Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

              Originally posted by Harikrishan View Post
              I don't think so...Chances of mulayam becoming PM are high.
              Bhai, Desh ki pehle hi lagi padi hai..

              Dollar 64 ke paar,
              Petrol 70 ke paar aur
              Pyaz 80 ke paar

              ab aur kya chahte ho Mulayam ko PM bana ke..

              Comment

              • #8

                #8

                Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

                what is true and what is not true about Modi claim of gujrat government achievements - part 1

                A decade after he took over as Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi remains the most polarising political figure of our times. No Indian politician has earned as much admiration and derision as him. Modi is lauded for his development credo, for turning Gujarat into an investment magnet, for making it easy to do business in the state.

                Critics say all that is bunkum, linking his pro-business attributes to assiduous use of marketing to erase another legacy of his early days in office — the 2002 Gujarat riots. Modi has repeatedly denied his alleged complicity in the carnage that killed thousands after a coach of the Sabarmati Express train was burnt in the city of Godhra.
                The riots continue to tie an anchor to all his plans of transforming into an everyman's politician. Yet, many regard him as a prime ministerial candidate because of the UPA government's struggles. But before the general elections, Gujarat will decide in December if it wants him to continue.
                Here, ET Magazine pieces together six different narratives that present a sober reflection of Modi's rule. Gujarat under Modi is too complex and fascinating a story to offer one judgement. The real Modi isn't visible to either the man himself or his critics.
                Growth: Real & Apparent
                The Gujarat economy has been growing at a steady tick, but the growth is not spectacular. There are also plenty of problems lurking.
                On June 25, 2005, Narendra Modi convened a hurriedly called press conference where he was expected to make an important announcement. Senior journalists in Gujarat remember the occasion because the invite came on a Saturday. They had to drop everything they would do on a relatively slow day and rush to the conference. Modi had abundantly exhibited his penchant for sensational declarations during the three years in power.
                By then, he had also displayed a keen sense of occasion. A few weeks ago, the US had denied him a visa. A day later, he was to address a crucial meeting of the Planning Commission where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other chief ministers would attend.

                Modi did not disappoint that day. He announced that state flagship Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation had stumbled upon India's biggest gas find yet. The 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas at the Krishna-Godavari basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast was actually more than all the gas discovered in India. To put the discovery in context, consider what oil and gas experts would make of it.


                One tcf of natural gas is enough to heat 15 million homes for a year, generate 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, or fuel 12 million natural-gas-fired vehicles for a year. Modi gave it a different spin. With the pomp that was already his signature, Modi said farmers would see oil pouring out of taps. He also said in subsequent public speeches that farmers would now be selling packets of petrol and diesel instead of milk, recalled an analyst who was present.

                Cut to the present day, those statements are recounted with chuckles or guffaws. No sooner did Modi make his grand announcement than doubts began to surface. VK Sibal, the then director general of hydrocarbons, the oil and gas sector regulator, said the discovery of 20 tcf appears to be a tall claim based on the result of one (oil) well.

                Closer home, GSPC's technical partner GeoGlobal Resources said it was premature to quantify the gas reserves. Yet, Modi stood by his claims until most of 2007. Turns out the sceptics were right. In truth, GSPC found no more than 2 tcf. But Modi and his administrators now treat the claims as an unfortunate episode that must be quickly forgotten, as they have with every development that runs counter to the Gujarat growth story.
                Growth Story

                There is little to suggest that Modi has learnt lessons from the GSPC affair. To this day, he is as eager as ever to collect superlatives for his rule. An oft-repeated claim is the spectacular economic growth in Gujarat under his watch. Agriculture in Gujarat has grown more than 9% in the past five years, the highest in India.

                Every village in Gujarat is self-sufficient in drinking water thanks to taking the waters of the Narmada river to every nook and corner of the state. Gujarat is the No. 1 in providing jobs. The most retold accomplishment, if it can be called that, is investments worth Rs 39.6 lakh crore promised in the five Vibrant Gujarat summits, Modi's showpiece meeting of global investors.

                Modi has reeled out these headline figures time and again. He also leaves no one in doubt about his starring role in these feats. His website is packed with reports such as: "Narendra Modi holds online grievance programme" and "CM gives necessary directives to the district functionaries for satisfactory solution of people's problems."

                Each of these seemingly impressive exploits appear lacklustre under scrutiny. Experts and independent observers say it is wrong to identify Gujarat's development with Modi's rule alone. Dwijendra Tripathi, an economic historian who taught at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for three decades, says Gujarat has historically enjoyed a locational advantage due to its 1,600 km coastline. "Its soil is also good for cash crops."
                Complementing these factors is the famed entrepreneurial zeal of the Gujarati. "Entrepreneurship, trade and business are in the blood of every Gujarati," says the head of a brokerage in Ahmedabad. "But this aspect is omitted when talking about Gujarat these days."

                Indeed, the Gujarati's affinity for trading and business is legendary. While other states were taking baby steps in industrialisation, Gujarat was about to take the next big leap. "Surat was among the first big ports in India and Ahmedabad was the first city to commission a textile mill after Mumbai in the pre-independent era," says Tripathi.
                The people of Gujarat are also known for their support for development.
                Sebastian Morris of IIM Ahmedabad says industrial growth in Gujarat has taken place in capital-intensive and labour-intensive industries where the usual considerations of safety and environment have been kept to a manageable level." Economist Yoginder K Alagh, chairman of Institute of Rural Management Anand, says Gujarat has always been an open society with a penchant for global ideas and experience. He says the state has grown fast in the last three decades and will continue to do so.

                Morris agrees. "When it comes to Gujarat, the first thing to recognise is even in the past, the state has had higher growth than the rest of the country, particularly in manufacturing. (see The Numbers Tell the Story). What happened after economic reforms is that other states were able to catch up."

                Not Miraculous

                Morris says Gujarat's growth is undoubtedly quite good, but not miraculous. Other states may have even exceeded Gujarat in certain sectors, according to him. The latest data of the ministry of statistics under the central government supports this argument. Bihar, Delhi and Puducherry are the fastest growing states in the country and Gujarat found no place in the top five for the second successive year, according to the data.

                Other headline figures too appear tame on closer look. According to Morris and Alagh, to peg the agricultural growth at 9% is incorrect. In separate studies, they have concluded that average growth in the sector since 2005-06 has been around 3-5%. The difference in the two estimates alone would give reason to pause. There are two statistical sins here, according to Alagh, which he says are unforgivable.

                "One is to take bad initial and good terminal years. And growth has been calculated accounting for current prices because that includes inflation." Both economists prick holes in the claims of the government's contribution to the agricultural progress. Irrigation coverage is still low, says Alagh.

                According to Morris, the main reasons for the agricultural revival are two-fold. Gujarat has benefited from a major shift in rainfall in the past 10 years. He says the Sardar Sarovar Dam project across the Narmada has helped farmers in the state. "But there would be a bigger impact if the canals were finished — they are nowhere near completion. The output [in agriculture] we see is because of water being stolen... pumped through plastic pumps."




                On the job front too, the statistics of the unemployed contradict the government's claims. Officials of the Directorate of Employment and Training, the nodal agency for distributing jobs, were reluctant to share the latest details of job seekers in the state, but earlier data from the institution reveals that the total number of people who have applied for jobs at the employment exchanges for three years to end December 2010 was nearly 9 lakh compared with more than 8 lakh in 2009.

                A senior government official requesting anonymity says in Ahmedabad alone, there are nearly 1 lakh registered job seekers. Unemployment is common in every state, but in the case of Gujarat, it appears staggering when stacked against the number of jobs promised during Vibrant Gujarat Summits.

                At the 2011 summit alone, the government declared potential investments would generate 52 lakh jobs. The disparity in numbers holds true for Vibrant Gujarat Summits as well. Only investments worth Rs 3.1 lakh crore have been implemented against the promised Rs 36 lakh crore.

                Maheswar Sahu, principal secretary, industries and mines, says implementing a big project involves a lot of processes like environmental clearance and land acquisition. "Any big project will take 5-7 years to take off." If that were the yardstick, the lion's share of the MoUs from the first and second Vibrant Gujarat summits should have been implemented. Only, 57.13%, 35.74% and 23.19% of the promised investments have been executed, according to government data (see More Hype, Less Substance).

                Beneath the veneer of prosperity, a raft of problems lurks in Gujarat. The state fares poorly in many social indicators. Nearly 4% children below the age of five suffer from malnutrition and 70% of children suffer from anaemia. Not surprisingly, Gujarat ranks 11th among all states in the Human Development Index, according to the India Human Development Report 2011 published by Planning Commission.

                The reasons are straightforward, says Morris. "Income inequality in Gujarat is extraordinarily high. Income is not distributed equally... a small section of people— the capitalist class and the migrant labour — are the biggest beneficiaries of economic progress. In agriculture too, this income inequality is prevalent."

                The very process of development in Gujarat is unequal, according to Morris. "There has been no labour movement to seize a larger share of the benefit. It is only now that skilled labour-intensive industries are springing up — the auto sector is a key example."
                Again, these are all problems common to most states. But in Gujarat, they are particularly glaring because of Modi's claims of prosperity. (Modi declined to comment for this story despite repeated requests for an interview).



                Modi Magic: How it Works

                He has cut red tape, he has almost ended corruption and made it easy to do business.
                On a sweltering afternoon in mid June, the Sachivalya, the headquarters of the state government in Gandhinagar, was buzzing with activity. Bureaucrats were signing furiously on files and shouting orders to underlings. Soon after, a steady stream of officers walked briskly — some ran — towards their cars. Some jostled for space in packed elevators, where visitors followed them to the way out. It was only 4 pm.
                To an outsider who had heard stories of the super efficiency of Gujarat's administration, the exodus of officials during working hours would come as a surprise. But for people familiar with the Narendra Modi rule, this was humdrum.

                The bureaucrats, including senior officers in the rank of principal secretaries, were off to rural areas to monitor the Kanya Kelavani and Shala Pravesh Mahotsav, the government's massive drive to enroll children in schools. In the next three days, they would visit 34,000 schools in 18,000 villages. They have been at it for the past 10 years.

                Admirers of the Gujarat business environment are legion. Business leaders, including Tata Group head Ratan Tata, have been effusive in their praises of Modi. Modi helped Tata Motors establish a factory in Sanand to produce its small car, Nano in quick time after the company was forced out of West Bengal.




                The results are striking. Under Modi, the dropout levels in primary education that was as high 41% (see Dropout Rate...) has fallen to under 8%. That is a significant achievement for a society that places entrepreneurship on a higher pedestal than education.
                During the twin programmes, ministers and MLAs would be in attendance. But the stars of the show are the bureaucrats. The hustle and bustle at the Sachivalya was a pleasant surprise given that authorities typically slip into lethargy when elections are nigh. This is only because the CM does not allow them to be lazy, says a senior journalist.

                To his admirers, Modi comes across as a driven, even obsessive, entrepreneur with a proclivity for micromanagement. The sole enforcers of Modi's progressive agenda are the authorities. Politicians, including ministers and MLAs, watch from the sidelines. That way, Modi is said to have weeded out red tape in the state.

                Rapid Development
                After Tata Motors and Ford, French carmaker Peugeot is building a manufacturing facility at Sanand. Modi is looking to turn the region into an auto hub. Top carmaker Maruti Suzuki is about to establish a plant at Becharaji in Mehsana district. Other companies have similar stories to recount.

                Asutosh Shah, managing director of bathroom manufacturer Duravit, says his experience while building a plant in Gujarat was superb. Gujarat was unfamiliar territory to the multinational company, according to Shah. "But we received excellent cooperation from all departments concerned without exception. For example, we needed natural gas connection. GSPC issued a letter of intent in less than a week."

                Comment

                • #9

                  #9

                  Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

                  He should. He can and I hope he will.
                  At least we'll have someone thinking of development.
                  At least we'll have someone thinking beyond vote politics.
                  At least we'll have someone good at managing tasks and people.
                  At least we'll have someone aggressive.
                  At least we'll have someone having a proven past record.
                  There is not a single human being in India who has all these qualities. I hope and wish he is the next PRIME MINISTER of INDIA.

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    #10

                    Re : Narendra Modi Indian Prime Minister

                    part 2

                    This clinical efficiency has become the hallmark of every project Modi lends his name to. Take, for example, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Officials have already made a trip to China to woo investors for next year. The speed is also characteristic of Gujarat's jumbo projects such as Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project and the Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, or MEGA (see Modi's Dream Projects) , which are progressing at a rapid pace. Modi is also said to work for up to 18 hours a day. He hasn't taken a holiday for nearly 10 years. Why then the huge inconsistency in the economic indicators?

                    A senior BJP leader who has known Modi for more than 20 years says if there is a mismatch in results, it is perhaps because he has been unsuccessful in getting people to work at the pace he wants. "Modi succeeds in single projects. The Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit System is a shining example. You can't beat him in such single, time-bound projects where largely only his energy is required. But in a macro project, where the efforts of many people are needed, he comes up short."




                    The Big-Bang Publicity

                    Modi runs a superb PR machine. Admirers take this as proof of a driven man. Critics see pure propaganda.

                    Assuming Narendra Modi returns to power, here's a preview of the sixth Vibrant Gujarat Summit next January. A long line of businessmen, analysts and diplomats from around the globe will again assemble. Again, they will shower Modi with praise for making it easy to do business.

                    Again, a few will address him as a progressive and tireless leader, or a visionary. Again, there will be plenty of handshakes and hugs. Again, a few would encourage counterparts to invest in Gujarat. And again, jaw-dropping investment figures will be announced.
                    Punit Mawli, vice-president, media relations, Mutual PR, the Gujarat government's public relations company, says Vibrant Gujarat 2013 promises to be even more spectacular than its predecessors. "Preparations for the summit are in full flow, with 11 teams of officials coupled with more that 100 industrial houses scouting 34 identified countries for further investments in Gujarat."

                    Vibrant Gujarat is Modi's piece de resistance. Ostensibly designed to attract investments, it has another purpose — to showcase Modi's credentials as a Vikas Purush, or a man for development. It is an image he has been tirelessly trying to build to eclipse the Godhra riots. Vibrant Gujarat offers a glimpse into the efficacy of Modi's publicity machinery. Detractors, including Congress leaders, have accused the government of inflating investment figures to grab headlines. Indeed, promises are getting bigger with every investment meeting (see More Hype...). But actual investments are a fraction of the promises.

                    Surreal Development

                    Authorities say investments take time to fructify and projects executed are for real. "Whenever commissioning is done in any project, not even 60-70% is spent. It is a continuous process," says Sahu, the industries and mines secretary.

                    Yet, the common thread running through Modi's marketing campaigns is the uncanny ability to present a picture of splendour in every endeavour. That explains investment figures running into lakhs of crores, growth figures dwarfing experts' estimates and of course, 'India's biggest gas find'.

                    The official Socio-Economic Review 2011-12 states that the total length of roads in the state has increased to 74,117 km at the end of 2008-09 from 74,112 km in 2007-08: an achievement of 5 km in one year!




                    Mawli says usually in PR, an agency finds difficult to manage a reticent client as expectations of the client are not usually matched by its propensity to converse/engage with media. "That has not in been the case with the Gujarat government. It has loads to talk about, be it the developments on the industrial front or the socio-political ones."
                    Modi employs two public relations firms — Washington firm APCO Worldwide to cater to the world media and Mutual PR for the Indian media. He is also one of the first Indian politicians to have understood the power of the internet as a marketing medium. Today, he runs his campaigns through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. He is a methodical blogger and fans can download Narendra apps on the iPhone and Android platforms.

                    To his admirers, Modi is only trumpeting achievements. But to critics, his marketing reeks of propaganda. Modi's invite to the Tatas through a text message to establish the Sanand factory is highlighted frequently. What receives less attention is the government's generous offer of a tax waiver up to 20 years and exemption from stamp duty and electricity duty, among other charges.

                    Every day, Modi takes his show to Gujarat and outside. Constant reminders of who runs the show in Gujarat include hoardings that are dominated by his big cutouts. Visitors to government offices are greeted with video recordings of Modi even in elevators.
                    Critics allege that he has also successfully suppressed negative news by making it hard to access government records. Shaktisinh Gohil, leader of opposition, says Gujarat has just three Right to Information commissioners. "Even a small state like Punjab has 10 RTI commissioners. At least 10,000 RTI applications are pending with the government." Modi baiters like Gohil say an independent assessment of Modi's record is often buried in manufactured atmosphere of optimism

                    Historian Tripathi says Modi has benefited from the foundation created before he became CM." He was referring to the state's focus on small and medium enterprises way back in the 1970s. Gujarat was also among the first states to float the idea of public private partnerships.
                    The BJP insider says Modi's predecessor's record was as good as Modi's if not better. "Keshubhai Patel's three-year term was much better than the 10-year tenure of Modi, but appears dull because of Modi's better marketing... Previous governments neglected showcasing achievements."
                    "In my view, he has been unable to change the system. He is a good marketer.. he is projecting a better image than the truth."

                    The Invisible Hand in Gujarat

                    It works in mysterious ways. So it pays to be in the good books of Modi. Here's what happened to those who weren't

                    The office of Canada's GeoGlobal Resources is located in the unlikeliest of places for an oil explorer: the Info City in Ahmedabad, a business hub that houses IT companies in Gujarat. Given that the state government's IT dreams never really took off, GeoGlobal may have had little trouble in securing the office. The 11,000 sq ft office can accommodate 50 employees, but on a Monday morning in early June, it was deserted, except for 11 members of the current workforce.

                    GeoGlobal arrived in Gujarat the early 2000s with big dreams. The New York Stock Exchange-listed company became the technical partner of state-owned GSPC. After Narendra Modi announced the 20 tcf gas find, the GeoGlobal scrip shot up to $8.5 on June 28, 2005 from $3.39 the previous day. But the company had to comply with stringent American laws and informed regulators that it was premature to estimate the quantum of gas. For Modi, this was a setback. Here was GSPC's own partner casting doubts on his claims.

                    GeoGlobal's troubles started soon after. GSPC asked the company to share exploration and development costs although this was a clear breach of contract, according to documents on the terms of the partnership accessed by ET Magazine. Subsequently, GSPC accused the company of providing a wrong geological model and blamed it for cost overruns. (A state government certificate of commendation is kept atop a table in the office).

                    Today, GeoGlobal is at the receiving end of the dispute with GSPC. Company officials refused to comment, asking us to leave once we introduced ourselves as journalists. But a financial analyst who has advised the company says GeoGlobal has invested $57 million to date in Gujarat and has zero returns to show. The scrip has nosedived to less than $ 0.4.

                    GeoGlobal's litany of woes can be dismissed as a spat between partners, but it is something of an anomaly in a state known for its full-on support for businesses. The Canadian company's experience has a bigger message — getting on the wrong side of the government can be disastrous.

                    The visible hand in Gujarat makes it easy to do business. But there is also an invisible hand that can wreak havoc. Take for example, the public spat between Verghese Kurien, the man behind the Amul brand, and Modi. At a public function in 2004, Kurien criticised the government's decision to split the Gujarat Agriculture University into four. It was the beginning of the end of Kurien's career.


                    For years, Kurien had kept Amul's apex marketing body Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation ( GCMMF) free of political interference. But under pressure from fellow directors, he was forced to resign amid controversies. The BJP grabbed the opportunity to wrest control of one of the world's largest dairy cooperatives.

                    "Amul gives you control over 30 lakh dairy farmer families, which means almost a crore voters," says a confidante of Kurien. Under Modi's watch, the BJP tweaked the Cooperative Act to install its party workers in district cooperatives. The very character of cooperatives in Gujarat has been destroyed, says the person.

                    A senior executive of an oil and gas powerhouse says his experience in Gujarat has been that the government withdraws once a factory is set up. "Say, a company faces tax troubles, it is left to fend for itself. I am not sure which is more important for the CM: the welfare of industry or the state."

                    Vibrant Gujarat apart, many companies with businesses in Gujarat participate in government-organised events such as the international kite festivals, Navaratri and Krishi Melas. An oil company at a festival for farmers? "If you ask me, there is no sense, but we have to."

                    Just after he said this, this official cut short the conversation. "He [Modi] has a way of finding who talks to the media. So I have this to tell you: he is great."

                    Juhapura and its Citizens

                    How do Muslims fare in Modi's Gujarat? Those in business say there's no real problem. But many others feel left out.

                    Nestled on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, towards the west, is Juhapura. A 4-km stretch of road teeming with vehicles cuts the area into two. Huts, bungalows and apartments jostle for space on either side, trying hard to accommodate a population of nearly 4 lakh.

                    Today, Juhapura is one of the largest Muslim ghettos in India, but it had humble beginnings. It was built to rehabilitate people affected by the floods in 1973. The population was largely Muslim, but the affluent stayed away because of its haphazard wall-to-wall buildings. All that changed in February 2002.
                    In the aftermath of the riots, Muslims from across the city resettled in Juhapura. It was crowded, the amenities were poor, but the area offered security. Naedeem Jafri arrived in Juhapura in 2002 for the same reason. He relocated from Paldi, an area dominated by the Jain community. Jafri is a Cheliya, a group of Muslims prospering from the hospitality boom in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

                    In 2004, he quit an advertising agency to launch a retail outlet in Juhapura. It was a risky move. "There was a dumpyard next to my shop. Juhapura didn't yet appeal to educated and prosperous Muslim families." But Jafri also had the advantage of being an early mover. There were no modern retail stores yet in Juhapura and though business was slow, he knew customers would come eventually. The move paid off.

                    Today, Jafri runs a chain of 11 outlets under the banner of 'Hearty Mart'. The dumpyard has turned into a private bus parking and his shop attracts decent footfall. "I did not get any external support to build my business. At the same time, nobody discouraged me," Jafri says.

                    http://articles.economictimes.indiat...di-s-gujarat/6
                    Last edited August 22 2013, 12:17 AM.

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