On October 7, 2001, when he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi did not have even a single day’s experience in governance. He had not served as a minister before taking the post.
The opposition leaders had raised questions regarding his capability. But he gave a befitting response through impressive governance. He remained the chief minister of the state for 13 consecutive years till he assumed the mantle of the Prime Minister of India in 2014.
It is a tribute to his model of government that the BJP has remained in power without a viable opposition since then. In fact, with him at the helm of affairs, the BJP has vastly expanded its presence all over India.
Because of Modi’s governance, at the central level the BJP won the majority in two back-to-back elections, with more seats and public support, every time.
The BJP is now ruling in 17 states and 1 Union Territory of the country which covers 44 per cent of the territory and more than 49.5 per cent population.
Modi’s strength lies in his administrative skill and a brilliant track record of inefficient governance. In a democratic system, public support and faith are the supreme power for any leader. And only a performer can enjoy citizens’ endless support. Uttar Pradesh is a case in point.
The BJP had been out of power in the state for 17 years when Modi changed the political scene and swept through the state in the 2014 Parliamentary elections.
Without projecting anyone as its chief ministerial candidate in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP swept the elections and a comparative political outsider Yogi Aditynatah was picked to head the state Government.
The party’s second consecutive record winning UP in the 2021 Assembly election is a living testimonial to the success of the Modi model of governance.
PM Modi’s personal interest in the governance of Uttar Pradesh is no secret. In the run-up to the UP Assembly polls, he visited the state on many occasions and launched several multi-crore infrastructure and development projects. He is also a Member of Parliament from Varanasi.
After the BJP came to power for a historic second time, albeit with a narrower majority and fewer seats than in 2017, the Government formation was delayed as the party’s top brass meticulously handpicked the Council of Ministers.
Political observers may be right in linking Modi’s move to address the UP ministers to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024, but Modi has all along maintained that India cannot progress if the governance in the state is poor.
BJP sources say the Prime Minister may have similar meetings with the ministers in other BJP-riled states also in the coming months. The idea is to strengthen the impression that the double-engine governments are more capable of effective good governance at the all-India level. They alone can ensure a place of pride for India in the comity of nations and also accelerate the process of making the world’s most populous democracy into a leading world economy.