Gujarat elections: NaMo and Shah exhibit nerves for the first time

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Gujarat elections: NaMo and Shah exhibit nerves for the first time

Post by Rashmun on Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:59 am

The two-month countdown to the Gujarat election is obvious now. After the GST Council meet yesterday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley singled out "khakra" (Gujarati savoury snack) and announced the GST on it has been reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. Man-made yarn will also see lower GST now, helping textile manufacturers in Gujarat, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently campaigning on a two-day trip. Another two Modi pit stops are planned for next month and sources say that they could well be doubled in his home state.

This is the second time that the government has blinked in view of the slew of upcoming state elections and the 18 months remaining of Modi's term in office. Just days ago, the excise duty on petroleum products was cut by two rupees.

The tax tweaks came after a huddle between Modi, Jaitley and BJP President Amit Shah. Jaitley missed a scheduled appearance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet in Delhi on Thursday. Shah cut short his Kerala Yatra for the brain-storming. Remember Jaitley is the BJP's campaign in-charge of poll-bound Gujarat...

Sensing its first taste of public disenchantment post the economic failure of demonetisation, the growing agrarian distress, shrinking investments, an utter lack of job creation for the army of young people joining the work force and a string of broken promises that are now being recognised as such, Modi and Shah seem hesitant  for the first time since their 2014 success. Hence the prompt response on GST and the switch to 24/7 campaign mode...

Sources say that Yogi Adityanath who was recently tested as the new "Hindutva" mascot in Kerala will now also be deployed in Gujarat and Himachal where he will campaign on his pet themes of "love jihad" and the claimed oppression of Hindus. The mahant of the Goraknath math is a veteran at minority-baiting and dog whistle politics. Yogi being used as a campaigner along with Modi in the upcoming elections is tacit acknowledgement of the fact that the BJP is jittery about its "Vikas" (development) and "good governance" agenda and is returning to a sharper focus on the basics of Hindutva including and construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. As part of this plan, Yogi will celebrate Diwali in Ayodhya.


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