Gujarat election results were announced today and I would like to hold forth on the Narendra Modi victory's likely national impact and discuss what corporate India is so ecstatic about.
The victory margin for Modi certainly has ensured he becomes a candidate for PM's post. However, Modi coming to Delhi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate is the most of what we should expect and even that may not be certain if allies seek Nitish Kumar or Chandra Babu Naidu's candidature. And winning that election is a far away step.
We have seen how the Himachal Pradesh election results went today and Congress is confident of coming to power in Karnataka by the time 2014 general elections roll by. Therefore, we should not think Modi is going to win automatically.
The question we need to ask, and what corporate India wants an answer for is, if Modi is next PM, what does he bring to the table for them? Firstly, if you look at the time of Godhra massacre, a lot of talk by corporates was on how the CM of that time had not done enough to control the situation and at the forefront of them all was Ratan Tata. Now after Singur, Ratan Tata had to no hesitation going to Gujarat. What it tells you is that corporate India has moved on. What they are looking at is who is going to give them land, who will give them 24/7 power, The one state that is giving them both is Modi;s Gujarat.
An interesting point about Modi and how he functions in Gujarat and what his biggest achievement is, something that no one talks about - it is not what he has done for industry - it is what he has done for agriculture - Gujarat is the only state in country that has 10% agricultural growth every year, year on year for the last 10 years. This tells us two things about Modi: first, the biggest change that he brought about is the availability of irrigation in Gujarat and second, iModi believes that it doesn't matter what the Centre or NGOs say, 'I think Bt Cotton has great potential for Gujarat'. And Bt Cotton took root there. And that is one reason why India is one of the biggest exporters of cotton in the world.
It all suggests that here is a CM who is willing to take all the necessary steps that need to be taken, but does that mean Modi is a strong contender for the post of PM. The answer is there too many assumptions. And it is very foolish to make a giant leap on the basis of what has happened. Also, were Modi to actually become the PM, can we have the same kind of dynamism in the country that he has shown in turning around Gujarat? That again is a train of thought based on a series of assumptions.
Running a state is far easier than running a central government. And let us not forget no matter how powerful you are at the Centre, the action only gets taken in the state. So, Narendra Modi as a PM confronted by a CM in Gujarat who does not function as well means that investment does not come into India.