Mukul Sinha December 22, 2013
Is Maharashtra as "Andhera" as Modi claims?Is Maharashtra as “Andhera” as Modi claims?Modi’s rallies in different states of India have become mega exercises of rubbishing the hosting state and eulogizing the development of Gujarat. He however crossed all limits in his Mumbai rally. In his own nautanki style, he narrated his drive from Gujarat to Maharashtra through Saputara. With mock surprise, he asked his audience as to how he knew he had crossed over from Gujarat to Maharashtra? He then unabashedly told his Maharastrian audience that jahan andhera hai woh Maharashtra tha aur jahan ujala hai woh Gujarat hai!

I have the personal experience of travelling through that road (from Saputara to Nasik) and the reality is exactly the opposite. Dang is a tribal district of Gujarat of which Saputara is a hill station, languishes in severe poverty having one of the lowest per capita income in Gujarat whereas Nasik is a very developed district of Maharashtra, specially with its growing wine industries. To rubbish that area as an area of darkness is denigrating the people of Nasik under the guise of his ranting against Congress.

Nay, he was not only rubbishing Maharashtra but Modi was rubbishing the Gujarat’s past as well. He told his ill-informed audience that at the time when Gujarat split from Maharashtra in 1960, Gujarat had nothing. Today, he said with flourish, Gujarat was at the pinnacle of development. History would tell us that Gujarat had the most developed textile industry in 1960 and Gujarati as a community was amongst the most enterprising community . To deny the entire community of their glorious past and grab it for himself amounts to betraying his own roots.

Be that as it may, we downloaded the economic statistics of both the state for the year 2012-2013 for a comparative study to see how far Modi was correct in lampooning the Congress rule in Maharashtra. Modi had alleged that Maharashtra had been wholly destroyed and a Congress-mukt Maharashtra was the only alternative. (Source: Planning Commission data for 2012-13 – Figures in Rs – Crores)

StateAgri & AlliedAgricultureIndustryManufacturingServicesGDP

The figures for the per capita income shows that Maharashtra’s per capita income, at current prices, was Rs 95,339 while Gujarat’s was a shade lower, at Rs 89,668. The figures in all categories shows that Maharashtra is ahead of Gujarat which is also reflected in the per capita income.

Maharashtra is the largest power generating state in India with installed electricity generation capacity of 28,310.83 MW . Gujarat had the total installed capacity in the state as on March 2012 was 15306 MW and the total generation of electricity in the state was 78651 MUs in the year 2011-12. Even on this count Modi is not correct. Maharashtra has far more installed capacity to generate electricity and as per reports, they generate far more units than Gujarat does.

The issue however is not which State is better than the other. The issue is that BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate is playing one State against the other and practicing very dangerous divisive and parochial politics. He raises the slogan of one India but divides the country wherever he goes
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