NaMo Makes Way For Gujarat's First Women CM
After winning the recent elections with majority, the BJP is gearing up for the 16th Lok Sabha under the leadership of Narendra Modi. NaMo has resigned as Gujarat CM and has elected Anandiben Patel in his place. Anandiben Patel is all set to lead Gujarat as the first women CM. Anandiben Patel was the urban development, revenue and disaster management minister in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat cabinet. She took the oath of office and secrecy on this Thursday administered by Governor Kamla Beniwal. A Cabinet of six Ministers and 20 Ministers of State was sworn in along with Ms. Patel, who is representing Ghatlodiya.
Even though Anandiben is a staunch supporter of NaMo and is said to enjoy Mr Modi’s complete trust, still there has been a lot of buzz on why Patel was chosen over Amit Shah as the CM. One of the reason seems to be that Patel is senior to Shah. More importantly, she has a no-nonsense image and set very high standards of performance in her role as minister in Modi’s Gujarat government. Her track record has been extraordinary.Given her impressive performance, it was an almost foregone conclusion that she would be Modi’s heir for the top Gujarat post.
As a minister Anandiben is respected by the bureaucracy for her quick decision-making, her studious attitude in going into every detail of governance and her extensive touring as Minister to remain connected with the lower bureaucracy even at the age of 72 years.She has done a good job of using technology to make governance easier at grass root level in the revenue department and also in the urban development department. In fact she is one minister who commands confidence of the bureaucracy because of her qualities.
Patel is praised not only for her efficiency as a minister but also for her brave acts. In 1987, Anandiben jumped into the Sardar Sarovar reservoir during a school trip to save two students from drowning. This act won her a gallantry award and so impressed by this was the top BJP cadre that they suggested Anandiben to join politics, who saw this as an opportunity to serve people.
As every coin has two sides, the decision to make Anandiben the CM has some drawbacks too. She is unable to connect with the party workers as most of them see her as arrogant and insensitive except a few personal supporters. She has also been criticized for supporting the wrong people. In 2012 assembly elections, she insisted on Modi to give tickets to two unpopular candidates in Sanand And Viramgam constituencies near Ahmedabad. The decision cost the BJP both the seats.
However, her efficiency as a minister sees her through these shortcomings. As the new CM, she will have to tread carefully on the political front or otherwise the old phase of political instability that has haunted Gujarat BJP in the pre-2005 era could be back.Patel is expected to follow Narendra Modi’s footsteps and lead Gujarat on the road to development.[Image Attribute: Press Trust Of India]