In Business-friendly Gujarat, results surprise Modi backers

In Business-friendly Gujarat, results surprise Modi backers

By many counts, the western state of Gujarat is the most friendly towards business. Early this year the captains of Indian industry stood side by side, praising the leadership of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the state and touting his name as a possible Prime Minister of India.

The national leadership of his Bharitya Janata Party (BJP) took note and took Modi’s face to the people of India at a national level. While the octagenerian Lal Kishan Advani was the proposed name for Prime Minister, the BJP showed Modi as an example of the party’s success and vision. Gujarat has clearly benefited economically during Modi’s tenure. But his anti-Muslim stand and accusations that his cohorts were somehow implicated in the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in rioting several years ago, have sullied his image and more. In fact, the United States refuses to grant him a visa.

While there were no state-level elections in Gujarat at this time, BJP-backed candidates in the federal elections did not do  as well as expected. Experts had predicted that Modi’s name and popularity would enable the BJP and its allied to win at least 20 of the 26 parliamentary seats in Gujarat. So far they have captured only 15, with one seat remaining un-declared.  In the meantime, the Congress party which some experts had almost written off in Gujarat, won a  surprising 10 seats in this state.


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