Modi’s Gujarat Struggle

By M. Tahir Khan.

While sitting in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, we can see World’s Politics in the last one week shaped around US President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its plan to relocate US Embassy at West Bank. Not only western powers are concerned about this decision, but all Muslim nations also called upon an extraordinary meeting of OIC on 13th December in Istanbul, and all Muslim leaders vehemently rejected Trump’s decision.

This is the one side of international politics that matters to us, however there are interesting news happening across the border in India as well which took a lot of attractions from international readers and followers. This time Indian State Elections in Gujarat, being the home town of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was in focus. Gujarat Elections were seen in India as a direct contest between Narendra Modi and his rival Rahul Gandhi. In short, there is a lot at stake for Narendra Modi and a test case for newly crowned President of Congress Mr. Rahul Gandhi.

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled Gujarat since 1995 and Gujarat was also a launch pad for Narendra Modi in 2001. During three tenures of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat and during his campaign for General Elections, Gujarat was quoted as model state in respect of governance, development and a state-friendly for business environment. But, unfortunately this time situation for BJP looks different than earlier Elections and Narendra Modi’s frustration can be evident from his recent election campaign where once again he dragged Pakistan into discussion and lamented that Pakistan was meddling in the Gujarat Assembly Elections to give favour to his opponents.

“Narendra Modi claimed that a “Secret Meeting” was held  at Congress Leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence to allege Pakistan’s hand in Gujarat elections”

Narendra Modi’s accusations were termed baseless by Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesperson in a Twitter message and it was stated that “India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on its own strength rather than fabricating the conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible”

This was not the end of Modi’s frustration, Gujarat Assembly Elections got on his nerves and a recent polls and analysis on the outcome of Gujarat results were making him crazy like anything. The only way out appears to him is just to frame charges against Pakistan and it was not possible to do so without involving his opposition party the “Indian National Congress. Unfortunately, it was not that easy this time, now he is not Chief Minister of Gujarat, he was campaigning for his political party as the Prime Minister of India and of course being Narendra Modi as Indian Prime Minister, attracts wide range of local and international coverage and he received a lot of criticism as well.

“Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came out openly with a video message and reiterated his demand for an apology from Narendra Modi”

Narendra Modi got huge criticism when in Election rally in Gujarat, he claimed that a “Secret Meeting” was held on 6th December at Congress Leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence to allege Pakistan’s hand in Gujarat elections. Modi alleged that former Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, former Indian Army Chief Deepak Kapoor and Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India were also among those who were attending meeting at his house.

After this scathing attack on opposition, there was immediate feedback from congress leadership starting from Mani Shankar Aiyar who called Narendra Modi a “Neech (Low) Person” and situation became even worse when Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came out openly with a video message and reiterated his demand for an apology from Narendra Modi over his charge that Congress was colluding with Pakistan to defeat the BJP. In his video statement, Manmohan Singh said that Prime Minister Modi, fearing “imminent defeat” in Gujarat Elections was spreading “falsehoods” & “canards” and was setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office.

This is not the end of story, all government ministers and BJP leadership came out to defend their PM Modi, but situation is still going on and on after each political statement from both the political parties. However, the point coming out of whole Gujarat Election campaign clarifies that Pakistan’s name is being used for political gains by  the sitting Indian Prime Minister and earlier Pakistan’s name was used to malign Muslim voters. But due to larger national / international media coverage, these falsehoods of Indian politics came into limelight.

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