Modi govt on ‘populist gear’ with jobs, land in the offing

In the run up to the next Lok Sabha elections, the Chief Minister Narendra Modi seems to have switched to "populist gear".

For example: the state government has been sanctioning agriculture power connections on immediate basis. This had been reportedly frozen for 17 years. Even the government is going on a recruitment drive for the first time in two decades.

Besides, despite a revival period of five years for fixing minimum wages, the government recently raised the farm labourer wages from Rs 120 to Rs 150, within a year after the last hike.

From farmers, farm labourers , tribals, cheaper CNG, and jobs to aspiring youths, the Modi government has something for everyone.

In spite of three consecutive wins in the state, the BJP's performance in last two LS elections have not been so impressive. It won only 14 in 2004 and 15 in 2009 out of the total 26 LS seats in Gujarat.

But this time, Modi needs a big push from his own state as his party aims to collect all the seats in saffron kitty.

"While Modi himself is a popular chief minister, the BJP cannot afford to keep any section unhappy," said a senior BJP leader.

It all began in October, little over a month after Modi was anointed PM candidate by the BJP on September 13.

The government announced Tatkal (immediate) schemes for authorising 1 lakh new power connections. It has been 17 years, with the Modi government in power the sanction of agriculture electricity connections were almost frozen. Nearly 5 lakh applications are pending with four subsidiaries of Gujarat Urja Nigam Limited.

Last year, the government claimed that it has started clearing one lakh applications. But from this year, it has announced special Tatkal Scheme, wherein applications filed before March 31 will be cleared on immediate basis.

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