Three visits, four major public addresses in his home state and poll-bound Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used some words frequently in his speeches, but demonetisation was not one of them.
It has almost been a year since demonetisation, and both BJP and Congress are trying the seize the first anniversary of demonetisation — November 8 — as anti-black money day and black day respectively. But, Demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most ambitious and most criticised “reform” against black money did not get frequent mentions in his recently delivered speeches in poll-bound Gujarat, interestingly, neither did Black Money.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made four major addresses in his home state Gujarat, and both demonetisation and black money did not get direct references as one would expect. Narendra Modi addressed the public in Rajkot, Dwarka, Dahej and Gandhinagar among many others during his three visits in the month of October. An analysis of his speeches reveals that even as Development (Vikas) continues to be his favorite word, it is the GST and Economy (Arthvyavastha) that were used frequently, and Demonetisation (Notebandi) and Black Money (Kala Dhan) got directly referred only a couple of times, while indirect references cannot be ruled out.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made maximum reference to the word development (Vikas), close to 67 times in his addresses, followed by Economy and GST — 41 and 24 times respectively. Words like New India and Demonetisation did get space in Prime Minister’s speech but for less than 10 times.
However, Narendra Modi is reportedly expected to address nearly 50 more rallies — mostly political — in the state and the narrative could change, but according to DBS, it would still revolve around economic reforms and government’s development agenda. The analysis is based on the full text of speeches available on the official website of Narendra Modi. Other addresses have not been taken into consideration. There were few other words like technology, innovation, and digital that were used frequently but in event-specific addresses such as the launch of Digital Saksharta Scheme.
For BJP, the Gujarat election is crucial as for the first time in last four elections, it will not have Narendra Modi as chief ministerial candidate. Under Narendra Modi, as he said on multiple occasions himself, Gujarat model led to development and prosperity of the state. A development model, riding on which he even became the Prime Minister of the country.
However, analysts said, it was Gujarat among the states which suffered the most during the switch to the GST regime. DBS said that even as opinion polls indicate a comfortable victory for the BJP in the state, close to the ground, the party is vulnerable on the GST front and slowing economic growth. According to media reports, in Gujarat, the textile industry in Gujarat lost close to Rs 10,000 crore due to the GST disruption, which led to a series of protests against it in the month of July and August.