TEHELKA DEBATE: Is the Nitish Kumar or the Shivraj Singh Chouhan model of governance more acceptable to you than the Narendra Modi model?p

Posted on June 9, 2013 in Politics

One of the important strands in Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s political career so far has been his more recent high-profile agenda of “development” and “good governance”. But LK Advani’s fulsome praise for Shivraj Singh Chauhan last week has brought the attention to the Madhya Pradesh chief minister who touts credentials in governance and politics that rival Modi’s. Advani pointed out that Gujarat was already an economically healthy state when Modi became its chief minister, where as Madhya Pradesh was a “Bimaru state” when Chauhan became its chief minister.

In the 10 years of BJP rule, Madhya Pradesh has seen both its expenditure and income rise substantially. Importantly, while Madhya Pradesh had a revenue deficit of nearly Rs 4,500 crore in 2003-04, it now has a surplus of Rs 5,125 crore. Madhya Pradesh is today one of the country’s fastest growing states with economic growth rate nearing 12 percent.

Likewise, even though Mohan Bhagwat speaks up for Modi when Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says the next prime minister should be “secular”, but the RSS chief follows that up by ranking Bihar ahead of Gujarat in terms of governance. Kumar has transformed Bihar from one of the poorest states in the country to one of the fastest growing. Both Kumar and Chauhan have stressed on the need for inclusive grassroot growth which includes all strata of society. Compared to these two models, Narendra Modi aleady suffers the tag of being communal. He has been accussed of siding with big corporate houses and foreign companies.

Recently, more than 10 of Gujarat’s premium institutes such as IIM-A, IRMA, CEPT, GIDR and others held a national seminar on “Understanding Gujarat’s Growth Story in the Last Ten Years”. The papers presented at the seminar showed that Gujarat has had very low employment generation and amongst the lowest labour wages in the country over the past 10 years. According to Prof Indira Hirway, the state also ranked 20th among the 20 major states in percentage of women with severe anaemia; 15th in malnourishment among children; and 16th in children’s anaemia. The state had slipped from the sixth position on the overall Human Development Index in 1990 to the eighth position in 2008.

So, is the Nitish Kumar and Shivraj Singh Chauhan model of governance more acceptable than the Narendra Modi model? What do you think?

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