Amid cash famine, Prime Minister set to revisit Gujarat today

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 10, 2016

Modi’s visit comes a time when the Vijay Rupani government is battling with the Patel demands and threats of reviving the pro-quota agitation   -  PTI

Keen to address key issues with eye on upcoming polls

At a function in Vadodara, on October 22, he hinted at a “surgical strike” on black money; two weeks later, on November 8, he struck with demonetisation of ₹1,000 and ₹500 currency notes. Now, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi re-visiting home ground Gujarat on Saturday, the air is thick with anticipation about his next possible move.

Widespread dIssent

As elsewhere, Gujarat too is grappling with cash famine due to “notebandi”. The BJP government, too, amid widespread dissatisfaction among its employees, including the police, is struggling to make as many payments online as possible in various departments, PSUs and other bodies.

Ironically, the Modi years (2002-2014), when the PM was Gujarat CM, are known as drought-free years in Gujarat as his dynamic leadership, coupled with natural bounty, had left the Keshubhai Patel’s era of drought years far behind. But the current cash famine has brought back haunting memories of queues — earlier, the people queued up for water; now they are queuing up for cash!

New plant

During his one-day visit, he will launch a new cheese-making plant, built at an investment of ₹350 crore at Banas Dairy in Banaskantha district of North Gujarat that borders Pakistan. He will also address a gathering of milk producers and farmers in Banaskantha.

As the assembly polls approach in 2017, the number of Modi’s Gujarat visits is set to rise. Since September, he is coming to Gujarat for the sixth time, at a time when the clueless Vijay Rupani government is simultaneously battling with the Patel demands and threats of the relaunch of their 18-month-old pro-quota agitation. That Modi is visiting Gujarat at least once in a month speaks volumes about the ruling party’s concerns.

Next month, Modi is again scheduled to visit Gujarat to inaugurate the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit in January 2017.

In the current scenario, when even medical tourists are shunning India, how many investors would actually land in Gandhinagar remains to be seen.

Published on December 10, 2016
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