Two days ago, a tweet by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was noticed. Through the tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party assured the people of Gujarat that as soon as the government is formed in Gujarat, 300 units of electricity will be given to every family for free every month. Not only this, it talked about providing 24-hour electricity to all towns and cities and also promised to waive old bills by December 31, 2021.
Kejriwal is betting on free electricity in Gujarat
After twenty minutes, Kejriwal understood that the electricity bill in Gujarat does not come every month, but every two months. In such a situation, through another tweet it has been reported that six hundred units of electricity will be given free of charge in the bill that arrives every two months. Even before the question arose, Kejriwal had clarified through another tweet that Revdi free to the public is “God’s prasad”.
Rewari distribution policy has not been successful in Gujarat
Only economists can respond to Kejriwal’s argument, many of whom had recently said that the culture of revdi distribution is responsible for Sri Lanka’s deteriorating situation. Even in the financial situation of many states of the country, this kind of distribution culture of Revdi has played an important role. But the big question is whether the people of Gujarat love this kind of revdi distribution culture or not. For them, gifts are important or such an administration, which takes the state on the path of economic development, where the entrepreneurial nature of the state can contribute to the upliftment of the society by creating wealth. North Indian politicians will have no idea that there are hundreds of such entrepreneurs in Gujarat, who have invested millions and billions of their hard-earned money in the upliftment of their people, without trying to take the property of others.
The opposition also made populist promises in the past
Having closely observed Gujarat politics for over two decades, one sees nothing new in juggling these election promises and Revdi distribution. In the past, too many leaders and parties made more than one promise, but the people of Gujarat did not believe in those promises, but the magic of Modi continued to talk about their bosses, who instead of distributing Revdi, decided give him strength and health. governance to the people, and people expressed their trust in Modi with votes in their purse.
Keshubhai Patel also promised free electricity
It is not for the first time that any party or opposition leader has promised free electricity to the people of Gujarat. Before the 2012 assembly elections, Keshubhai Patel tried to challenge Narendra Modi, then the Chief Minister of Gujarat, by quitting the BJP and forming the Gujarat Parivartan Party as a new party. Note that Keshubhai Patel was the Chief Minister of the first BJP government formed in 1995 and in 1998 also the party made him CM again. But after the 2001 earthquake, when Keshubhai Patel was removed from the CM’s chair and Modi was made CM because he was not functioning effectively, Keshubhai gradually distanced himself from the party, leaving the party before the elections in ‘assembly of 2012. He gave.
Keshubhai Patel had fielded 177 candidates in the 2012 elections under the banner of the Gujarat Parivartan Party. To woo rural voters, Keshubhai had promised free electricity to all families living in the villages of Gujarat. The dream of providing free electricity for agriculture to 47 lakh farmers was also shown. But when the election results came in, it was learned that the people of Gujarat did not trust Keshubhai’s promises. His party got only two seats, one of which was his own Visavadar and the other was the adjacent seat. The Patel community that Keshubhai used to hail from, the need to provide free electricity to those Patels also went in vain. Keshubhai’s close aide and party general secretary Gordhan Jhadafia lost the election from the Patel-dominated Gondal seat. The promise of free electricity did not work for the Gujarat Parivartan Party, the Aam Aadmi Party will have to remember this incident a decade ago.
Even the Congress promise could not attract the voters
In terms of election promises, the biggest promise made by any political party in Gujarat in the last two decades to reap the harvest of votes is the Congress promise of ‘Gharun Ghar’ during the 2012 assembly elections. The Congress, which formed its government after winning the elections for the last time in 1985, made this big bet to attract the people, especially half of the population. The promise is that in the eight municipal corporations and 156 municipalities of the state, houses will be allocated in the name of women in each family who do not have their own house. An announcement was also made to prepare three thousand houses every year. Forms were also distributed from Congress offices, for a day or two there were lines to collect the forms.
Women voters trust ‘Bhai’ ModiBut when the results of the 2012 assembly elections came in, the Congress lost its mind. Sister voters in Gujarat tied vote rakhis on the wrists of their brother Narendra Modi, who for the past decade had addressed women voters as sisters, assuring them that they would always be ready to help them in trouble . Naturally, the women of Gujarat trusted Modi and not the Congress’s promise to provide them with houses. For the third time, the people of Gujarat gave their support to the BJP elections under the leadership of Modi, putting 115 seats in the BJP’s bag, the Congress got only 61 seats. Shaktisinh Gohil, who was the Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, lost his election.
Modi trusts good governance more than Rewari
It wasn’t that Modi wasn’t under pressure to make such big promises to counter these populist promises. Many senior leaders and thousands of workers within the party were pushing for the BJP to also make such a big promise: to distribute Rewari to cut the opposition. But Modi did not like to promote the culture of gifts to get votes. Modi bitterly told his colleagues that if he had to adopt similar tactics as the opposition, what would be the difference between the BJP and other parties, it is better that a man like him should not remain in government.
Modi stopped electricity theft, unconcerned about votes
Modi had also faced this pressure in the 2007 assembly elections. Working on the Jyotigram project since 2003, Modi had ensured that the people of Gujarat had electricity throughout the day, but at the same time assured that there was no theft of electricity. Theft of electricity for agriculture was common in rural areas. That is why Modi not only separated electricity meters for agricultural and domestic use, but also built special police stations to prevent electricity theft. These posters were placed on State Transport Corporation buses, depicting the person who was handcuffed at the police station for stealing electricity. Party leaders feared that such posters could anger rural voters and lead to lost votes.
Modi was not ready to distribute Narmada project water for free
The main opposition Congress promised not only to reduce agricultural electricity tariffs but also to withdraw cases of power theft. But Modi was not deterred even then. He had faith in the self-respecting mood of the people of Gujarat, who do not like gifts but hope that the government will lead the government in such a way that they can have their way. Modi earned their trust by ensuring 24-hour availability of electricity, and not by promoting freebies. Modi had shown similar determination even when the opposition parties showed promise of giving free water to Narmada to receive from the Sardar Sarovar Dam project, but Modi was not ready for that. After all, he could not lead this project down the path of financial failure.
When Modi was going to the 2019 elections after becoming the Prime Minister, the Congress had made another big populist bet, with the ‘NYAY’ scheme. Keeping the minimum income scheme ie Nyay, the Congress promised that around 20 percent of the poor families in the country will get Rs 72,000 every year. At that time, most political pundits considered him a Congress masterstroke. It looked like Congress would change course. But when the election results came, it was learned that the poor people of the village who got the benefit of a scheme like Ujjwala did not trust the Nyay scheme of the Congress, instead they filled Modi’s purse with votes and a new vote called “Beneficiary”. Class block done.
Opposition leaders do not take lessons from history
All these anecdotes are enough to say that these Rewari schemes have never succeeded in killing Modi. A corruption-free government is important to the people, who can make tough and big decisions. This has been proved by the people of the country and also by the people of Gujarat. Obviously, when the buzz of Gujarat assembly elections 2022 has started, the opposition will have to remember this. The culture of gifts and the tendency to distribute Revdi will not benefit, we must move forward with a positive agenda. Kejriwal’s problem is that a minister of his own government is eating the air of jail in a corruption case and the fear of falling on the other haunts him, in such a situation, with what mouth is he promising a corruption free government? do in front of people In this situation, distribute them Revdi, only the faith of the culture remains. In 2017 assembly elections or 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi did not take his pulse by making personal attacks, in such a situation, Kejriwal is anxious to mobilize votes on the basis of free electricity, it is another question that these maneuvers have ever succeeded in gujarat, it has not happened. Many tried before too, but there was a gap in their mouths. The tragedy of history is that everyone reads it, but does not learn a lesson from it.
(Disclaimer: These are the personal views of the author. The author himself is responsible for the correctness/accuracy of any information provided in the article. News18Hindi is not responsible for the same.)