By the time you read this, assembly election for Gujarat 2017 will be over. This election should be an envy for all other states. Elections in India has traditionally been fought on issues of ‘Bijali, Paani aur Sadak’. However, the same are not even an election issue as these things are taken for granted in Gujarat now. Reason why every other state should feel envy of Gujarat is
a) Promise for 24 X 7 electricity was not an election issue as this is already done. While almost rest all states are yet to ensure 24 X 7 uninterrupted power supply even in big cities; this has been ensured even in remotest part of Gujarat. ‘Bijali jaana is a news in Gujarat, while Bijali aana is a news in rest of India !’
b) Promise for good roads and good connectivity was not an election issue as this is already accomplished. Even remotest part of Gujarat can boast of good road connectivity and hence the opposition party couldn’t even make it an election issue.
c) Promise for good law & order situation was not an election issue. City of Ahmedabad was one of the most communally sensitive city of India; not now. Underworld goons used to reign terror; not now.
d) Promise for women security was not an election issue. While setting up of special women commando forces for securtiy of women is an important election issue in rest of India, the same is not in Gujarat. Even without special women commando forces, women feel safe in Gujarat. How many states in India can boast of women roaming safely in India during night?
e) Promise for good drinking water supply was not a major election issue. Gujarat is a water deficient state. While in past, politicians used to boast of the number of water tankers they can ensure for their respective constituencies. Infact, sometimes even trains carrying water has to be plyed. Today, same is not the case.
f) Promise for employment (Rozgaar) was more or less not a major election issue. Gujarat is among the states having least unemployment rate and people from other states migrate their for employment.
The list can go on. The issues that are generally raised during election of your respective state are not even an election issue or a major election issue in Gujarat. I belong to the state of Jharkhand and it would take at least a decade for us to ensure the issues mentioned above to be non-issues. The opposition could only raise the issue of reservation that too for a prosperous community owning luxurious SUVs and Mercedes with ‘Divide & Rule Policy’ behind the scenes. Anger due to transitional hiccups in GST regime was another sentiment which was tried to be latched on unsuccessfully.
A dissapointment which one can find is the way the campaign discourse went. The kind of future vision from the existing status was visible only when the sea plane landed on Sabarmati Riverfront during the last day. Within a decade the dirty and stinking drain has been transformed into a major tourist attraction capable enough of allowing sea planes to land and take off. Its an amazing transformation story. Sadly, neither the opposition nor the ruling dispensation focused more on the futuristic vision; infact the former couldn’t even respond with any specific vision when asked specifically.
In conclusion, every other state must envy with the state of Gujarat. Election issues relevant itself speaks and underlines this statement.