Will Gujarat strongman’s appeal work in Maharashtra? | india | Hindustan Times
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Will Gujarat strongman’s appeal work in Maharashtra?

Verdict on whether Modi's appeal will work in Maharashtra is still not out. For, as the BJP prime minister in waiting, he didn’t deliver on that much promised ‘garjana’ or ‘roar’ of the Mahagarjana rally.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2013 23:31 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

It was a huge rally. Even if one discounts BJP’s claim that more than 500,000 people (from Maharashtra and outside) turned up, the unofficial police version of about 250,000 to 300,000 would indeed make it one of a biggest rallies in recent times. He had the audience – from Gujarathis in Ghatkopar to housewives and farmers.

But, verdict on whether his appeal will work in Maharashtra is still out. For, as the BJP prime minister in waiting, he didn’t deliver on that much promised ‘garjana’ or ‘roar’ of the Mahagarjana rally.

No promises were made for Mumbai, the country’s financial capital or to the disillusioned industry. No grand vision was laid out for a future India.

However, he did strike at the state government’s bailout of the Adarsh report and the hypocrisy of Congress vice-president’s comments on corruption. He stopped short of comparing Gujarat and Maharashtra, which might not have gone well with many locals.

Modi showcased BJP’s development model of governance by invoking MP, Chattisgarh and Gujarat, instead of focussing on only his achievements. He called for a Congress-free India and equated BJP with the country, termed as a master stroke by his followers.

“For PM aspirant and especially the way the rally had been projected in the state, his speech lacked political depth. Even the call of Vote for India by equating BJP with the country is grandiose, with echoes of India for Indira. One expected much more,’’ said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.

The state is currently almost equally divided up with Congress-NCP alliance having 25 MPs and BJP-Sena coalition bagging 20. To turn the tide completely in BJP’s favour, Modi and his party will have to do much more than just rely on his charm.