Modi – the middle class hero
Ahmedabad: Over a sumptuous round of chakris (a Gujarati form of melting-soft murrukkus), mathiya (a Diwali speciality that looks a lot like fried papad), other savouries and a wide variety of sweets, we are gathered in the house of a Gujarati businessman in Ahmedabad.
The occasion, a Diwali get-together, is an excellent opportunity to gauge the mood of this group – actually a no-brainer – about Narendra Modi and his development model in Gujarat and his prospects in the Assembly elections for which voting begins in three weeks. Bela Bhagat, a primary school teacher, married to Baiju Bhagat a successful lawyer, is the most vocal fan of Modi in the group. She moved to Ahmedabad about 12 years ago from her home town of Kolkata after her marriage. “Within five years I could see visible development happening in Ahmedabad and in the rest of Gujarat. And it is in such sharp contrast to my home city of Kolkata.”
Incidentally, Modi has been Chief Minister of Gujarat for around the same period – from 2001 till today. “Will Modi become CM again? Of course, that is absolutely certain. But where we want to see him is in Delhi – as the Prime Minister of India.. I’d say he is on the threshold of doing that,” she gushes. Others in the group nod appreciatively as she adds: “This summer I went to Kolkata and was shocked to see no development has taken place. If the Left was bad, Mamata has done nothing either. Today Ahmedabad is the best city to live in India.”
Bharat Jani, a manufacturer of anti-corrosive cement, is all smiles as he says that Modi will sweep the elections. “He is the best CM in India, from the state of the roads, the flyovers, health care facilities to the ease of doing business, he has brought around overall development.”