Why Gujarat may not be a cakewalk for 'executive' Modi

The smart CEO-style functioning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi may not be a sure fire formula for his victory in the forthcoming Assembly polls, with disgruntled quarters of common citizens emerging out from different corners of the state.

In an opinion piece in the weekly magazine Outlook, Manisha Priyam Sahay, a researcher at London School of Economics, sought to draw similarities between Modi with Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandra Babu Naidu, who as Andhra Pradesh chief minister, failed to win twice despite his impeccable record of executive style functioning.

"After all, the defeat of ‘ceo’ Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh was scripted similarly, combining agricultural disgruntlement and sentiments of regional disadvantage" -- Priyam wrote in her article.

Not all that easy for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Examining the reasons that Modi may not win the polls as easily as some imagine, the writer found that local causes rather than national ones, might be a stumbling block for the second time chief minister. Significantly, the Congress has realised this well and is trying to fill these gaps to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party from dishing out another humiliating defeat.

"For one, the Congress in the field does have a sense of local issues, an understanding of pockets of disadvantage, and also a macro-strategy of where to deploy its energies spatially" -- said Priyam.

Analysing the pro-Modi camp's already triumphant posture, the writer said that the  prediction of an almost unchallenged victory, Modi's future role in national politics and the almost smug examples of good governance and economic growth, may overlook some of the genuine inconveniences of a section of the electorate.

"... the robustness of each of these three ‘generalisations’, and in conclusion argue that although it is advantage Modi, there is political competition to be witnessed before one could declare the match won," Priyam said.

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