Gujarat is celebrating Narendra Modi’s second anniversary as PM with gusto but has been lukewarm in marking a similar milestone by the state’s chief minister. Anandiben Patel assumed office on May 22, 2014, after Modi stepped down as the chief minister.
On Thursday, the Gujarat Information Bureau issued full-page newspaper advertisements highlighting Modi’s achievement.
The advertisements in Gujarati read: “Gujarat Maro Aatma, Bharat Maro Parmatma’ (Gujarat is my soul, Bharat is my Lord). A relatively smaller picture of Patel featured at the bottom of the page with a congratulatory message for the Prime Minister.
The BJP, which rules the state, is also busy celebrating two years of Modi Sarkar in the form of a month-long ‘Vikas Parva’. But no dedicated function has been organised to mark two years of Patel as CM.
Sources said the BJP chose to keep Patel away from events focusing on the party’s rural vote base in view of the CM’s recent setbacks. She was seen as the reason behind the party’s drubbing in the recent local-body elections. Critics within the party also attacked her for not being able to tamp down on violent protests for caste quotas by the Patidar community.
In contrast, Patel marked her government’s anniversary at a low-key function on Smart Villages in Gandhinagar last week, which was not attended by any party leaders except her ministers.
Even the Vikas Yatra planned by the BJP in the state’s 26 Lok Sabha constituencies from May 22 to 27 is not dedicated only to the Patel government and aims to spread the Centre’s achievements at the grass-root level as well.