Anandiben Patel has taken charge as the new Chief Minister of Gujarat after Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister-designate by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after the Lok Sabha elections. Modi will be taking charge as PM on Monday, May 26. The question being debated today is - What is Gujarat after Modi?
The question is being asked because the Gujarat model is linked with Modi and only Modi. So, can the model be delinked from Modi and can it then sustain itself?
The BoomNews's show #TheIndiaHangout got together Govindraj Ethiraj, Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, author of the book, Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times, Aakar Patel, journalist and columnist and Ayaz Memon, and the conclusion was: Gujaratis will miss Modi as much as Modi will miss Gujarat.
Memon started off the debate by asking: "Will the Gujarat model of development be forgotten?' And Patel set the tone when he observed that while political leadership in Gujarat will remain with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, key portfolios like energy and petrochemicals remain with Modi loyalist Saurabh Patel who has also been given the additional charge of finance.
Patel added that what Modi did well was responding to industries. "Gujarat could be the only state in India where if you look at the pie chart of the state GDP, it would be skewed towards industry."
Mukhopadhyay observed that the key issue would be to look at how things pan out with Modi as Prime Minister and Chief Ministers like Shivraj Chauhan, Vasundara Raje and Manohar Parikkar.
Patel made another key point: "With Modi moving to Delhi, BJP will suffer in Gujarat. Finally, there will be some kind of churn within the BJP."
Talking about Modi and his cabinet, Mukhopadhyay said he will induct people who he thinks he can control.
Patel was very clear that Gujarat, like other states, also had its share of subsidies. In Gujarat, most of the things, except power, are subsidised like all other places. I think the difference will come in efficiency in governance. We still don't know if he (Modi) will cut subsidies."
Other key points of the discussion:
Neither education nor health was managed by Modi: Patel
He heads a population that is essentially anti-Muslim: Patel
Ahmedabad and Vadodara are the two most communally violent cities in India: Patel
Anandiben Patel may not have the interest to keep the Hindu-Muslim tension as raw as Modi: Patel
Modi's leaving Gujarat would help the state to heal: Patel
BJP does not have a single mass leader in Gujarat: Mukhopadhyay
One big challenge for the Gujarat Govt would be to develop the middle class: Patel
Gujarat will miss Modi, he was the most charismatic leader, made Gujarat talked about for a decade: Patel
Modi will miss Gujarat a lot: Mukhopadhyay