Narendra Modi, by default
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Hindutva is of course the other reason why Gujaratis (at least the savarnas) support Modi — hence the notion of "Moditva". They first did it in the 2002 elections because of the polarising effect of the anti-Muslim killings — which resulted in the Hindu majority rallying behind him. Certainly, Gujarat has not experienced any major riot since then, but the communal divide remains, as evident from the ghettoisation that Muslims of Ahmedabad and other cities experience today. Mixed neighbourhoods are not the order of the day any more since Muslims are not welcome in their own cities but pushed to peripheral townships like Juhapura, near Ahmedabad.
In addition, the recent election campaign has shown that Modi was a very effective populist. Never before — except Indira Gandhi in the 1970s — had an Indian politician saturated the political space the way he did. A symbol of this ubiquitous presence was the appearance of his image in 3D simultaneously on huge screens in dozens of cities. He then presented himself as an "avatar" of "Hanuman" — and called Ahmed Patel "Ahmed mian". For years, this marketing genius has been advised by the American company APCO Worldwide which has already worked for the Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha and the life-president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Each of his performances in 3D cost Rs 5 crore according to other BJP leaders disturbed by such extravaganza. Modi can afford such expenditures — and many others! — because of the support he gets from the corporate sector. All the CEOs of the large companies of India — some of them with Gujarati roots — are all praise for the state government, which has offered them land at a throwaway price for their plants, tax concessions, zero interest loans. On the top of it, they can have direct access to this "one window man" and save the bureaucratic detours and red-tape of other states.
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