There is hardly any place in Gujarat where development in the last five years of Narendra Modi'sregime is not palpable. Such is the magic wand of Shri Modi that Gujarat has turned into a vibrant state excelling every passing day the past development story of some other states.
To be precise, if development is the most important litmus test for retaining the political citadel, no one under the Gujarat sun can unseat Shri Modi. One only wonders if Shri Narendra Modi has done all to his citizens that they long for in terms of development, why should they undo their own bright future by unseating him?
There is a queer stretch of constituency as we pass through the tribal areas of Sabarkantha and Vaskantha districts of North Gujarat. The tribals of these areas seem only beholden to the Congress but an element of honesty in them says it all so far as development of Gujarat under Shri Modi'sreign is concerned. The tribals, all and sundry, say that Shri Narendra Modi has transformed them completely and gave them all that they did not get during the pretty much long previous Congress regime but still they would vote for the Congress. One NRI Shri Joshi from Miami, who had gone to Sabarkantha'sHimat Nagar taluka constituency to campaign for BJP candidate, says, one can only hope that people of other parts of Gujarat do not turn out such foolhardy so as to deny Shri Modi what he deserves most?yet another term of Chief Ministership to metamorphose Gujarat into Singapore of India.
Think of any tribal land in India, you can never imagine roads better than even the capital of India passing through that land. Lo and behold, there is a B.Ed college which seems to be an architectural wonder in the tribal heartland of Sabarkantha. If this is not enough to impress you about Shri Modi'swork of development, peep into the well-built hutment of a tribal in Khedbrahma, you will be surprised to see a TV, music system, carved wooden door, thanks to Shri Modi'sstrict minimum wage regulation. Here men get Rs 100 per day as wage and women Rs 70 per day. So far as availability of work is concerned it is in abundance, because the development work is going on at a fast pace all around.
Add to this development miracle, his success in protecting the state from the terrorists and corruption eating into the vitals of the state, is not a mean achievement. Shri Modi has turned Gujarat into such an impregnable fortress that not a single terrorist strike has taken place in Gujarat in his five years of governance. An NRI from Los Angeles Shri Narottam Patel, in a queue to enter the famous temple Akshardham, says to Organiser: ?Due to the terrorist attack before 2002, this temple was a word of fear for me. But as I heard that Gujarat under Shri Modi has become a fortress of safety from terrorists, I am here to campaign for Shri Modi and see this imposing temple. Even America is not sure that 9/11 attack on USA will not be repeated, Narendra Modi dares the ?merchants of death? to dare to enter his state.?
Now on to the urban side of the Gujarat spectrum under his reign. People in urban Gujarat are unmistakably Shri Modi'sfrenzied fans without an exception. Just to witness this, you need to watch a meeting addressed by Shri Narendra Modi. But you will be well advised not to be shocked into the middle of the frenzied crowd that sways as his leader utters mesmerizing crescendo.
Just as I landed outside the airport at Ahmedabad, the air was abuzz with excitement that Shri Modi'smeeting is due to happen in the vicinity. As this correspondent reached the venue Solapur Road, Akash Ganga Ground, Ahmedabad, it was already a sea of humanity waiting for the biggest crowd puller in this Assembly election. For a new person from outside Gujarat the sight of the crowd will certainly send shiver down his spine but look at that small girl Harvi Saha, six-year-old girl spell bound by Shri Modi'spresence and oblivious of what consequence could happen in case the stampede ensued. She was not alone in the midst of the crowd. A large number of girls and women dotted the landscape of dangerously lunging mass of people. The pet slogan that people chant when Modi arrives at the scene is: Dekho dekho kaun ayaa, Gujarat ka sher ayaa (Look, here comes the lion of Gujarat). Shri Modi is on the stage and the crowd is under his spell. Shri Modi looks around and conquers the hearts and minds of the teeming sea of humanity.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley, incharge of Gujarat election campaign says, Sonia'swords blended Vikas Modi with Hindutva Modi. The more Congress attacks in this fashion, the more difficult will it become for it to upstage Shri Modi.
The first phase of elections on 11th of December 2007, encompassing Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat portends good news for the BJP. Contrary to the fear, rebels could not make much dent in the party'sprospect in this region. The much higher voter turnout also augurs well for the party. On the basis of an evaluation, BJP will repeat near the previous election tally.
The result of second phase of election slated to be held on December 16, includes Shri Modi'sstronghold Central Gujarat and North Gujarat. In Central Gujarat BJP is going great guns as ever. On December 23 it will be clear that the citadel of the BJP for well over 15 years comes out unscathed or it proves doomsayers right.